Dem vows to press ban on Pentagon paying for border wall

29 March, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • “Build WALL through M!” Trump tweeted on Sunday apparently referring to the U.S. military not Mexico

Sources close to the president have confirmed Trump is secretly floating the idea that the Mexican border wall should be funded by the budget allocated to the military in the omnibus spending bill that was passed recently.

According to the report, Trump floated the idea to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday, receiving little reaction, though unnamed senior officials later dismissed the viability of the proposal.

"Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our country, is all about National Defense", the president tweeted.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has tried to demand Congress appropriate money for his promised wall, and the Mexican government has steadfastly refused to pay for it. Trump a year ago said Mexico would pay for it "through reimbursement/other".

Lawmakers only directed $1.6 billion to the border wall, with a focus on repairs and additions to already existing fencing.

He also suggested that The Pentagon pay for the estimated US$25 billion wall. During another meeting, this one with senior aides, Trump apparently whined about how much money the Department of Defense was getting, noting that surely the Pentagon could afford to part with a few (or, say, 67) billion dollars.

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The White House's military office, the Pentagon and a spokeswoman for Ryan did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

"M" references the military, according to the Post.

"Certain things are said during the campaign that are uninformed", Kelly reportedly said during the meeting. Setting aside money in the 2019 budget would require Trump to offer a budget amendment - which would still need 60 votes to pass the Senate. During his campaign, Trump spoke vehemently against illegal immigration and proposed a plan on how to end immigrants crossing the border illegally. Advisers state that "M" means military.

"First Mexico was supposed to pay for it, then USA taxpayers, and now our men and women in uniform?"

At Tuesday's briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sidestepped a question about whether having the military wall construction posed constitutional issues, and gave a glass-half-full assessment of where the president's signature campaign promise now stands. "Secretary [James] Mattis ought not bother and instead use the money to help our troops, rather than advance the president's political fantasies", he said.

It sounds unlikely that the president will make any real progress on his border wall during his current term.

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