Democrat MPs fought against the Defense Ministry on Tuesday for a $ 1 billion military budget to pay 57 miles of fencing on the US-Mexico border. This demanded the head of the House Armed Services Committee "incredibly irresponsible."
The Pentagon announced to Congress late Monday that it had approved the transfer of funds through a federal law that would allow it to "build roads and fences and install lighting to drug trafficking corridors across the international borders of the United States States to support federal drug enforcement agencies. "
Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., said in a statement that Congress had instructed the Department of Defense to provide a limited number of weapons redirect funds "to give them additional flexibility in day-to-day management The recent DoD announcement that it intends to use this process to re-program $ 1
During a hearing with the amtier In the end, Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and other Pentagon leaders sent Smith a letter from the committee to the Department of Defense denying his formal request to divert the money. The panel does not have the legal power to block the transfer, but could amend the law to block future funding shifts.
HOUSE DOES NOT HURT TO LOSE TRUMP VETO IN COMBATING BORDER CROSSING
"You are not asking for our permission," Smith said to Shanahan. "Now you know that the result is likely that the Central Committee will no longer receive the reprogramming authority for the Pentagon."
In response, Shanahan told legislators that he knew that the use of funds for the border wall would risk losing lawmakers. Trust.
"We said," Here are the longer-term risks for the department, "said the acting secretary," and these risks were weighed, and then we are executed in this order by a legal order of the commander-in-chief. "
A US Congressional officials told Fox News that the Pentagon had diverted the money because of lawmakers' objections to breaking "a decade-long tradition on Capitol Hill."
David Norquist, the department's budget chief, told the legislature the money The Yuma and El Paso Border Sector Construction Project will come from an Army personnel account that was just ahead of its 2018 recruiting target with over 6,000 new soldiers.
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Shanahan had intended to use funds from an existing Pentagon counterattack But the authorities announced to Fox News on Tuesday that this account was only about $ 85 million.
The Pentagon last week sent a list of more than $ 13 billion worth of military construction to Capitol Hill, which could be tapped for wall funding. However, Shanahan said that any money would not be spent on military dwellings or barracks, as well as on projects whose contracts are awarded before the end of the fiscal year, September 30. When these projects are removed, about $ 150 million left.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.