Trump administration taking $3.8 billion more from military for Mexico border wall

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump visits a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Otay Mesa, California, U.S. September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department sent Congress a request to shift nearly $4 billion from the military budget to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, a central promise of President Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House four years ago and bid this year for a second term.

Lawmakers said they received a request on Thursday to reprogram more than $3.8 billion from funding for the National Guard and weapons programs, setting the stage for a possible confrontation with Democrats.

Democratic aides said $1.5 billion would come from the National Guard, and the rest from funds for procurement, including the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet program, Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft, Boeing Co P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and shipbuilding.

Congressional Democrats, who opposed Trump’s past diversion of billions of dollars in military spending to the border wall project, said the decision was dangerous and misguided.

“President Trump is once again disrespecting the separation of powers and endangering our security by raiding military resources to pay for his wasteful border wall,” Democratic Representatives Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, and Pete Visclosky, chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said in a statement.

More Stories