- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2019

Top House Democrats are slamming the Trump administration’s plans to redirect defense funds to pay for the Mexican border wall, calling the president’s upcoming budget request “a blatant attempt to make a mockery of the federal budget process.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith joined forces with House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth in condemning Mr. Trump’s anticipated budget request.

“Rather than being honest and responsible about his budgeting, the president is choosing to deceive the American public yet again,” the chairmen said in a joint statement Monday.

Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, offered more detail of the White House’s plans in a piece for Real Clear Politics, saying the president’s fiscal year 2020 budget “will reflect the administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and addressing threats to our national security, such as terrorists abroad and criminal illegal aliens running through our southern border.”

Democrats have targeted the administration’s plan to tap the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds, fund that are not subject to spending caps. Many have strongly opposed using military dollars for non-military purposes, including to pay for a border wall.

Mr. Trump insists the border situation constitutes a national emergency and has already dispatched thousands of U.S. troops to back up Border Patrol agents working there.

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