Senate Democrats are attempting to use the chamber’s fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to block President Donald Trump from redirecting Pentagon funds for southern border barrier construction.
Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) filed an amendment Monday to the chamber’s version of the annual defense policy bill that would prevent the use of DOD funds authorized in the expansive legislation toward border construction, according to The Hill. The amendment would also block using DOD funds authorized between fiscal years 2015 and 2019.
The move, which is unlikely to succeed in the GOP-led Senate, is similar to a provision in the Democrat-led House fiscal 2020 NDAA which advanced out of the House Armed Services Committee last week.
If the House NDAA language is approved as expected after the upcoming July 4 recess, it will prompt a looming fight over Trump using DOD funds for border construction. Both chambers will need to reconcile their competing proposals before the required legislation arrives at the president’s desk for his signature.
The Senate amendment is supported by Democratic Sens. Tom Udall (N.M.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Chris Murphy (Conn.).