Trump faces royal flush of opposition from defense committee leaders to using military construction funds for wall

Federal News Network | 2/12/2019 | Staff
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Another top lawmaker is opposing the use of military construction funds to build a wall on the southern border.

The announcement comes as congressional negotiators near a spending deal to avert another partial government shutdown. The deal comes in far lower than the $5.7 billion requested by President Donald Trump for the wall.

Senate - Armed - Services - Committee - Chairman

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is the latest of the “big four” running the armed services committees to oppose dipping into military construction funds if Trump declares a national emergency to build the wall.

“If it becomes necessary, I think Trump might use the emergency,” Inhofe told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol. “I don’t want anything to degrade military construction.”

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But Inhofe did break with other committee leaders in that he said he will accept diverting Army Corps of Engineers funding to go toward the wall.

Matter - Prioritizing - Inhofe - Time - Choices

“It’s a matter of prioritizing,” Inhofe said. “Any time you are faced with two bad choices; one is worse.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) all previously said they are against using military construction funds for a border wall.

Use - Construction - Funds - Trump - Threat

The use of military construction funds comes from Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency at the southern border to build the wall if Congress refuses to pay for it.

Enacting a national emergency allows the president to use unobligated military construction funds and possibly counter-narcotics funds to build infrastructure needed to secure the country.

White - House - Army - Projects - Funds

It also allows the White House to halt Army civil works projects and apply those funds and resources to national defense projects.

There is currently $16.4 billion unobligated in the 2018 military construction budget, according to DoD’s 2018...
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