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 TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill 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 InhofeNavy chief resigns amid uproar over handling of aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis COVID-19 and the coming corruption pandemic GOP senators urge Saudi Arabia to leave OPEC MORE (R-Okla.) and ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedNavy chief resigns amid uproar over handling of aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Pentagon gets heat over protecting service members from coronavirus Overnight Defense: Stimulus bill has .5B for Pentagon | Money would be blocked from border wall | Esper orders 60-day freeze for overseas troop movements MORE (D-R.I.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Navy chief resigns over aircraft carrier controversy | Trump replaces Pentagon IG | Hospital ship crew member tests positive for coronavirus President tightens grip on federal watchdogs Navy chief resigns amid uproar over handling of aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis MORE (D-Wash.) and ranking member Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryPentagon gets heat over protecting service members from coronavirus Top Armed Services Republican unveils proposals on military families, acquisition reform House panel delays consideration of annual defense policy bill 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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