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Special to The News-Courier—
Rep. Mac Thornberry, who is leaving congress next January, indicated President Donald Trump’s plan to shift $3.8 billion in military funding to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico was an administration overreach.
“Congress has the constitutional responsibility to determine how defense dollars are spent,” said Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee said.
“We take the Pentagon’s recommendations seriously during our deliberations, but the final decisions are contained in the bills passed by Congress and signed into law. The re-programming announced today is contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority, and I believe that it requires Congress to take action.”
Thornberry still believes the situation on the southern border is a national security challenge — made worse by partisan politics in Washington — for the United States, but feels the funding must come through the Department of Homeland Security rather than diverting critical military resources,” he said.
Josh Winegarner, who received an endorsement in the Republican primary election blamed the diversion of funds on Democrats and bore no harsh words for Thornberry while Ronny Jackson and Chris Ekstrom criticized the 13th Congressional District congressman for not supporting the administration’s stance.
“It’s outrageous Democrats are trying to make Americans choose between national security and border security,” said Winegarner.
Jackson said he fully supports Trump’s plan to redirect funds to border security, adding “he has proven time and time again that the U.S. military is an absolute top priority of his, and I completely trust his judgment on this issue.
“I am disappointed that my congressman, Mac Thornberry, is not standing with our president on this important issue and effort to keep America safe,” Jackson added. “Taking shots at the president on your way out is easy, but having the courage to defy the swamp isn’t,” he said.
Ekstrom indicated it was unfortunate to see Thornberry threaten action against the administration and applauded the Trump administration for stepping up in the face of congressional inaction. “We have a real crisis on our border,” he added.