GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped

GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped
© Greg Nash

House conservatives are pushing back against provisions in the annual defense policy bill aimed at blocking Pentagon funds from going toward President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE’s southern border wall. 

Led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the GOP lawmakers sent a Thursday letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid MORE (R-Okla.) and ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number America's avengers deserve an advocate Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE (D-R.I.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithJudd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem 'Marketplace of ideas' turns 100 — it's not what it used to be Overnight Defense: Pentagon says Syrian oil revenue going to Kurdish forces | GOP chair accuses Dems of using Space Force as leverage in wall fight | Dems drop plans to seek Bolton testimony MORE (D-Wash.) and ranking member Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryHillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches Retirements pose threat to cybersecurity expertise in Congress Trump urges allies to not 'be led into the fools trap' of saying Ukraine call 'was not perfect, but is not impeachable' MORE (R-Texas), arguing that including the language as the two chambers go to conference on their versions of the defense bill would make it difficult for the Defense Department to deploy troops to assist Customs and Border Protection agents in conducting security operations. 

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“Sections 1046 and 2801 prohibit the use of Department of Defense counterdrug programs and military construction funds to build a border wall, fence, or other physical barrier along the southern border. This is unacceptable,” they wrote. 

“There is a real emergency at our southern border. Our Border Patrol agents are being overrun, and our ranchers are discouraged with the inaction coming from Washington, D.C. Securing the border is necessary if we are to stop the onslaught of drug and human trafficking, and terrorists on the border.” 

The lawmakers said that “the urgency to build a border wall cannot be overstated.”

“It will help deter the drug cartels and tens of thousands of people who risk their lives attempting to cross our border illegally. The American people understand that failure to control our border poses a national security threat. We hope you understand the severity of this crisis and urge that these provisions are stripped from the final [National Defense Authorization Act] conference report.”

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