US Pres Trump asks $3.8 billion from military for Mexico border wall

US President Donald J. Trump speaks to the media while meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno (not pictured) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (NNN-TELESUR) — The US Defense Department asked Congress to reprogram more than $3.8 billion from funding for the National Guard and weapons programs to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, setting another possible confrontation with Democrats.

Three years after arriving at the presidency, Donald Trump is keeping his central promise of building a wall on the southern border of the nation and heads his campaign for a second term with the same motto.

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

Congressional Democrats called the request dangerous and misguided.

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

This time, U.S President was criticized by members of his party too. The top Republican on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Representative Mac Thornberry, expressed that the move was “contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority” by the Pentagon.

A senior Pentagon official said Defense Secretary Mark Esper had approved about $3.8 billion in funding being diverted to build 290 km of a border wall.

Last month, this entity received a request from within the Trump administration to make roughly 435 km of the wall on the border, which would have cost about $5.5 billion.

The Trump administration has vowed to build at least 640 km of the wall along the border by November 2020, when Americans will vote for president. In his 2016 campaign, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall. The Mexican government has consistently refused to do so.

Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, particularly for immigrants who come across the southern border with Mexico, have been a signature of his political campaign and first term in the White House.

He is proud of it and made it clear recently during his third annual presidential report, known as “The State of the Union.” — NNN-TELESUR