- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Top Senate Democrats vowed Wednesday to force a vote to overturn President Trump’s reported plans to funnel more money away from the Pentagon and toward his border wall construction, saying the administration is insulting military families by stealing money earmarked for their housing.

Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and top lieutenants on the key committees said there’s bipartisan opposition to taking the money — though so far it hasn’t been enough to curtail the president’s moves.

“Robbing the Defense Department of these much-needed funds in order to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build is an insult to the sacrifices made by our service members,” the Democrats said in a statement.

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the White House is eyeing $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2020 Pentagon money. The administration has not confirmed those plans.

The push for more money is chiefly a political move.

A White House official told The Washington Times last month that they couldn’t spend all of that money over the course of 2020.

Congress approved just $1.375 billion in wall money for this year — the same amount as it allowed for 2019.

Mr. Trump, after forcing the longest government shutdown in history, declared a border emergency in early 2019 and siphoned nearly $7 billion away from the Pentagon and toward wall construction.

Democrats last year orchestrated a vote to overturn Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration, and won passage in both the House and Senate. But the president vetoed the move, and his veto was upheld, leaving him free to spend.

The matter is still being fought in the courts, though judges have allowed the money to be spent in the meantime.

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