Trump Plans to Steal $6 Billion From National Defense for His Wall

Olivier Douliery/Abaca/TNS via ZUMA

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The shutdown crisis is over:

President Trump is speaking at an event in the Rose Garden, where his acting chief of staff says he will announce that he will sign spending legislation to avert a government shutdown and at the same declare a national emergency with the aim of securing about $6.5 billion more to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval.

….Trump is eyeing about $600 million from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund and $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program, according to officials. In addition, the president wants to use $3.6 billion in military construction funds to help build his new border barriers. Of the different pots of money, White House officials believe only a military construction account requires a national emergency designation.

Maybe some budget expert can help us out here. My first question is: What’s the point? There are only seven months left in the fiscal year, and I doubt Trump could spend $6 billion in seven months even if nothing (i.e., lawsuits) stood in his way. Second: What was the Pentagon planning to do with this money? A mere few months ago we were being told that our military was in such dire ramshackle shape that it desperately need a huge budget increase. Did that turn out not to be true? Were they wasting so much money that they won’t even notice that they’re losing $6 billion? Inquiring minds want to know.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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