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Democrats protest $200M in additional border wall transfers

Posted at 9:29 AM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 14:46:15-04

President Donald Trump has quietly transferred more than $200 million from Pentagon counterdrug efforts toward building his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That's according to Democrats protesting the move, which would shift $129 million to wall construction from anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan — the source of perhaps 90 percent of the world's heroin — along with $90 million freed up by passage of a stopgap funding bill.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and other Democrats lodged the protest in a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, calling the fiscal sleight of hand "an egregious misuse" of Pentagon powers.

Trump has shifted more than $6 billion from Pentagon accounts to pay for border fence construction, considerably more than lawmakers have provided through annual appropriations bills.