The maneuver, announced in “reprogramming” documents provided to lawmakers, came in for harsh criticism by Rep. Mack Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. Democrats slammed the transfers as well, but Trump faced no consequences when making similar transfers last year.
Trump's action comes less than two months after he signed a huge appropriations package into law. He alienated lawmakers on both sides last year when diverting funding intended for popular projects on military bases.
This time, the Pentagon is targeting $1.3 billion for National Guard equipment and excess procurement of aircraft like the F-35 and V-22 Ospreys, favored by many lawmakers for the jobs they bring to their districts and states. He's also eliminating funding for an amphibious assault ship built in Mississippi and an Expeditionary Fast Transport ship that's built in Alabama, represented by Sen. Richard Shelby, the Republican chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
Trump's fiscal 2021 budget, released only Monday, contains a $2 billion request for the wall, less than Trump asked for last year, which reflected the fact that Trump has more money for the wall than can be spent immediately.