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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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