Lawmakers looking to wreck Trump’s plan for military to fund border wall

Matt Saintsing
January 25, 2019 - 1:15 pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Mani Albrecht

Categories: 

President Donald Trump is reportedly planning a national emergency to direct money from the military to fund a border wall, a plot some Democrats are hoping to derail. 

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) penned a letter signed by 50 other House Democrats, and sent to the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Friday, urging him to impose restrictions in the annual defense authorization bill on Trump’s ability to tap funds from the Pentagon for a wall. 

Photo by Mary F. Calvert/TNS/Sipa USA

The letter presses Smith to “assure the President and Secretary of Defense cannot utilize a fake ‘national emergency’ to co-opt the military into the construction of the President’s wall.” 

“A President’s war powers are the most serious powers held by the Commander in Chief and should never be utilized for political stunts, only genuine national security emergencies.” 

The letter obtained by Connecting Vets, carries the names of some prominent House Dems such as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), an Iraq war veteran who recently announced she’s running for President in 2020, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and House Armed Services Committee Readiness Subcommittee Chair John Garamendi (D-Calif.) 

Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of declaring a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall. CNN reported on Thursday that the White House is preparing to do just that and looking to find $7 billion. 

One of the options being considered would direct $3 billion from the Pentagon civil works funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $681 million from Treasury and $200 million from the Department of Homeland Security. 

The letter cites “tens of billions of dollars” beyond Trump’s initial request of $5.7 billion for the wall. “There is no reason to spend our national treasure on a gimmick that will not help secure the homeland in a meaningful way,” the lawmakers wrote.

      Want to get more connected to the great stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.