Dem proposal to ban Pentagon funds for border wall survives House panel votes

Dem proposal to ban Pentagon funds for border wall survives House panel votes
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The House Armed Services Committee early Thursday rejected Republican attempts to remove language from the annual defense policy bill aimed at blocking President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE’s border wall.

During its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the committee rejected in party-line votes several amendments offered by Republicans related to the border.

“It is an unbelievable waste of resources to address this crisis to spend that money on a wall,” said committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute Overnight Defense: US to pull 11,900 troops from Germany | Troop shuffle to cost 'several billion' dollars | Lawmakers pan drawdown plan | Trump says he hasn't discussed alleged bounties with Putin Lawmakers torch Trump plan to pull 11,900 troops from Germany MORE (D-Wash.). “Second, it’s [Department of Homeland Security], not [Department of Defense]. This money should not come out of the Department of Defense as, by the way, a lot of my Republican colleagues said when this first came up.”

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The committee did adopt by voice vote an amendment from Rep. Jason CrowJason CrowTrump-Afghan deal passes key deadline, but peace elusive Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats Congressional inconsistency continues regarding war powers MORE (D-Colo.) to prohibit defense funds from being used to house children forcibly separated from their parents.

Trump declared a national emergency in February to be able to dip into military construction funding to build the wall without congressional approval.

The Pentagon has yet to use military construction money on the wall. But under separate executive authority, the Pentagon has moved $2.5 billion from various accounts into its counterdrug account to use for the wall.

The military also has thousands of active-duty and National Guard troops deployed to the border in a support role.

As it stands, the committee’s version of the NDAA would prohibit Pentagon funding from being used on the border wall, make changes to the emergency authority Trump invoked to dip into Pentagon coffers for the wall and modify the authority Trump has used to deploy U.S. troops to the border.

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account The Hill's Coronavirus Report: INOVIO R&D Chief Kate Broderick 'completely confident' world will develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine; GOP boxed in on virus negotiations The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Barr's showdown with House Democrats MORE (R-Ala.) offered three amendments to strip those provisions.

“I think it’s irresponsible to block this funding,” Rogers said.

Each of his amendments failed in 31-26 votes on party lines.

The NDAA would also prohibit the Pentagon’s counterdrug funds from being used on a wall. An amendment from Rep. Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerWuhan is the final straw: The world needs to divest from China On The Money: Hopes fade for coronavirus relief deal this month | Burr problem grows for GOP | Layoffs hit record high of 11 million in March House poised to pass coronavirus relief bill: What you need to know today MORE (R-Mo.) would have removed that provision, but failed, 31-26.