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 TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report 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 InhofeRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Senate rejects Paul proposal on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP MORE (R-Okla.) and ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Senate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE (D-R.I.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithHouse panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE (D-Wash.) and ranking member Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House Armed Services votes to make Pentagon rename Confederate-named bases in a year House panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal 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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