The Pentagon is looking for ways to keep military construction projects on track and fund a southern border wall as dictated by the President’s national emergency declaration. A Top Senate Democrat said Thursday that some of the money will come from the Army’s excess payroll and pension funds.
“It’s coming out of military pay and pensions,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told AP. “$1 billion. That’s the plan.”
The money hasn’t been spent because Army recruitment is down, Durbin said.
Durbin, the minority whip and top Republican on the defense spending panel, was part of a delegation that met Thursday with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
The Senate is expected to pass a House-backed resolution next week to nullify the emergency declaration, but it isn’t clear yet how many Republicans will stand against the President to back the resolution.
“Why have this additional controversy when it could be done in a less controversial way?” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said, according to AP. “Apparently, the White House is not persuaded.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Jacqueline Tate