A prominent Republican said Tuesday he does not want money allocated for the military to be used for a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, is the top-ranked Republican on the House Armed Services Committee and told reporters he would rather see Congress fix the issue.
"I am opposed to using defense dollars for non-defense purposes," Thornberry said, according to The Hill. "Seems to me we ought to fund border security needs on their own and not be taking it from other accounts.
"Last fall, I vividly remember touring a barracks with mold growing out of the ceiling where they had to evacuate the soldiers out of certain rooms. And as much as we've done the last two years, we have not made up for that deficit in military construction that does affect readiness, that does affect the quality of life and all sorts of things. So, to take some of that money and use it for something other than [military construction] will obviously be damaging, and I'm not for that."
Thornberry has served in the House since 1995. He chaired the Armed Services panel from 2015 until last week, when Democrats assumed control of the chamber.
President Donald Trump has come up short of his goal to build the wall, one of his signature campaign promises. The current government shutdown began Dec. 22 after lawmakers were unable to agree on wall funding.
Democrats have vowed not to allocate one cent for the wall, which prompted Trump to threaten to declare a national emergency and use the military to build it.
"Obviously, Congress has oversight responsibilities for whatever action the executive branch takes," Thornberry said. "But as far as can you stop it from happening, my impression is that you would have to pass a new law."
Trump will address the nation Tuesday night on the immigration issue.
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