WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – One year ago, President Donald Trump declared a border emergency and began transferring money from the United States military to fund construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
President Trump notified Congress on Thursday that an additional $3.8 billion will be transferred from this year’s defense budget.
Some of that money was expected to pay for military equipment, like new fighter jets and naval ships. The money is on top of the $11 billion of taxpayer money that’s already been spent on the border wall.
“Now this was tough,” Trump said, “when you want to get hundreds of millions of dollars for a wall and you have an opposition party that wants to have open borders.”
Much of the money taken came from military construction projects. Democrats, like Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, criticized the change.
“That could affect the national security just for a political purpose,” Jones said. “And that’s all this is at this point. This wall now is a political promise.”
The ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry of Texas, said he supports the wall but does not support taking money from the military budget to build it.
That “undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers,” Thornberry said.
Hector Garza with the National Border Patrol Council came from Texas to meet with President Trump on Friday. He said the money is needed to help secure the border.
“It’s still a national emergency,” Garza said. “We’re seeing a lot of drugs come across, we’re seeing a lot of people that are being smuggled into this country.”
LATEST FROM NEXSTAR DC:
- Bill would reclassify 911 dispatcher jobs as first responders
- Department of Transportation grants give millions to coastal ports
- 2 years later: Parkland students, families in Washington pushing for stronger gun regulation
- Billions more transferred from defense budget for US-Mexico border wall
- First lady spends Valentine’s Day with young patients