President Trump is pushing for the Department of Defense to help build the border wall with Mexico, according to a report Tuesday in The Washington Post. Trump is reportedly upset about the low level of funding for his signature project in the omnibus spending deal he approved last week – Maggie Haberman of The New York Times tweeted that the president is still railing against the bill, particularly after seeing Ann Coulter criticize him for a lack of progress on the wall on Fox News – and is looking for ways to move the project forward.
The Post report helps make sense of a tweet Trump sent on Sunday, in which he said that the “Military is rich again” thanks to the spending bill, and linked the border wall to “National Defense” while saying “Build WALL through M!” White House officials told the Post that the M stands for "military."
The spending bill provided $1.6 billion for border security, a far cry from the $25 billion Trump has called for. Any attempt to redirect billions of dollars from the military to construction of the border wall would likely meet resistance from both the Pentagon and Congress. Taking money from the 2018 budget would require an act of Congress, the Post says, while using money from the 2019 budget would require an amendment and thus 60 votes in the Senate.
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made Democrats' opposition abundantly clear: “First Mexico was supposed to pay for it, then U.S. taxpayers, and now our men and women in uniform? This would be a blatant misuse of military funds and tied up in court for years. Secretary Mattis ought not bother and instead use the money to help our troops, rather than advance the president’s political fantasies."