Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Trump floats possibility of military funding his border wall

Trump floats possibility of military funding his border wall

President Donald Trump is asking the Department of Defense to fund the barrier he has long promised supporters along the USA southern border, according to multiple reports published Tuesday.

Trump brought it up in a meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) last week, stating the military should pay for the wall.

Trump ended an early Sunday morning tweet detailing the wealth of the military and the necessity of the border wall with "Build WALL through M!"

Reprogramming federal dollars requires congressional approval, and it's unlikely lawmakers will want to divert Pentagon money that is meant to fix what officials and lawmakers have described as an urgent preparedness crisis responsible for several recent fatal accidents.

Building a wall along the southern border has been a key promise from Trump, one which he has assured would be paid for by Mexico. Experts say those ideas would ultimately raise prices for US consumers, however, and would not result in the excess funding that would pay for the wall.

Two sources told CNN Tuesday that Trump floated the idea in private conversations with advisers.

Trump has been privately pressing for the Pentagon to fund his $25 billion border wall.

Last week, Trump said "much can be done" with the $1.6 billion for the wall, calling it "just a down payment", suggesting "the rest of the money will come". Not only will Democrats take a hard pass military spending paying for his fence, but Pentagon officials, per White House advisers, "may also blanch at the possibility".

"Because by having a strong border system, including a wall, we are in a position, militarily, that is very advantageous".

Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made Democrats' opposition abundantly clear: "First Mexico was supposed to pay for it, then USA taxpayers, and now our men and women in uniform?"

Gallego's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) a year ago was seen as largely symbolic since there had been no proposal to use Pentagon funding for the wall.

During a White House press briefing on Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment about the money rumored to be coming from the military for the border wall. "Secretary Mattis ought not bother and instead use the money to help our troops, rather than advance the president's political fantasies".

Ryan, who recently denied rumors that he'd resign (and be replaced by Majority Whip Steve Scalise), undoubtedly realizes that Trump didn't realize that he can't simply push the military (even if they're willing) to reprogram how they'd spend their funding.

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