The top Republican on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee said on Tuesday he opposed President Donald Trump’s plan to use $7 billion from the military budget to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
Representative Mac Thornberry said he backs the wall, but not with Pentagon funds, calling Trump’s overall $750 billion defense budget request “the bare minimum” of what the U.S. military needs.
“There are things you can’t do if you fund non-defense items with defense dollars, and I don’t think that’s a good idea whatever the merits of the other program,” Thornberry, a Republican representing the Texas Panhandle, said at a roundtable with journalists.
The comments from Thornberry, a former chairman of the Armed Services panel, underscored the bipartisan opposition facing the budget Trump sent to Congress on Monday, even among those who back many of his programs.
Democrats dismissed the budget proposal as dead on arrival.
Thornberry also questioned Trump’s request for $165 billion of the Pentagon’s war-fighting account, nearly three times last year’s $60 billion allocation, and widely seen as an attempt to spend more on the military without having to reach an agreement with Democrats on spending for domestic programs.
“I don’t think this is the Pentagon’s idea,” Thornberry said, instead calling for the two sides to negotiate a spending agreement.
Thornberry joined many of his fellow Republicans as well as Democrats in disputing the wisdom of steep cuts at the State Department – Trump proposed reducing spending on diplomacy by 23 percent and slashing more than 30 percent from foreign aid.
“We need the State Department,” he added.
Separately, Congress is on the verge of approving a resolution to reject Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern border as a way to get money to build the wall – and keep a campaign promise – without lawmakers’ approval.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by G Crosse
WATCH: AOC dunks on GOP for ‘beclowning themselves’ during Trump’s impeachment
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted her Republican colleagues on national TV on Friday.
Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. She was interviewed on MSNBC's "All In" by anchor Chris Hayes.
"Midway through today's impeachment inquiry, the president was accused of witness tampering," Hayes noted. "One of the sharpest rejoinders came from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez."
The host read her tweet to the live studio audience.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2019
‘The worst day of the presidency so far for Donald Trump’: Advisor to four presidents
President Donald Trump has not had a worse day in office than he suffered on Friday, according to a top former White House advisor.
David Gergen served in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He was interviewed Friday night by CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"If you are looking to throw somebody under the bus, Gordon Sondland would probably be a prime candidate to be next in line to be thrown under the bus," Cooper said.
"I think the president will wait patiently to see what he says and then decide," Gergen replied.
He then offered his analysis of the situation.
Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.
"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."
"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."