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 TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe 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 SmithLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space Force deal Bottom line This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch 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 CrowColorado rep planning sunrise run to possible sites for military memorial Bill introduced to give special immigrant visas to Kurds who helped US in Syria Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds 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: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues The Hill's Campaign Report: Red-state governors races pose test for Trump 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 HartzlerGOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine House approves amendment to reverse transgender military ban The House-passed bills that have ended up in the Senate 'graveyard' MORE (R-Mo.) would have removed that provision, but failed, 31-26.