Top House Armed Services Democrat to Block DOD Funds for Wall

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, the incoming leader of the House Armed Services Cmte, plans to ban use of Pentagon funds and military personnel to build a border wall along the Southwest border.

    • Smith, who will take over in January, says in an exclusive interview he’ll likely introduce separate legislation to ban the wall’s construction using Pentagon resources and ultimately include provisions in the annual defense authorization measure that sets Defense Dept policy and funding levels
    • Smith’s comments come as President Trump and lawmakers from both political parties are locked in a fight over $5b for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; the impasse could lead to a partial federal govt shutdown after Dec. 21
    • Smith says he expects bipartisan support for his provisions
  • NOTE: Smith’s Senate counterpart, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, said last week he didn’t expect the military to build the border wall; Inhofe has his own border bill as alternative
  • NOTE: Military construction projects usually require authorization by Congress