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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 TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress 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 SmithBiden seeks to walk fine line with Syria strike Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display 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 CrowManagers seek to make GOP think twice about Trump acquittal The GOP is in a fix: Gordian knot or existential crisis? Thousands of troops dig in for inauguration 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 RogersBiden seeks to walk fine line with Syria strike Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Overnight Defense: One-third of service members decline coronavirus vaccine | Biden to take executive action in response to Solar Winds hack | US, Japan reach cost sharing agreement 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 HartzlerJill Biden visits Capitol to thank National Guard Tim Ryan, Rosa DeLauro giving free coffee and donuts to National Guard stationed at Capitol Top Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win MORE (R-Mo.) would have removed that provision, but failed, 31-26.