Pentagon may tap military pay, pensions for border wall


In this Jan. 16, 2019, image, Yuli Arias, stands in front of a newly-replaced section of border wall as she stands in her neighborhood in Tijuana, Mexico. The U.S. faces a delicate dance as it charts a course to extend or replace border barriers near homes and structures. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Senate Democrat says the Pentagon is planning to tap $1 billion in leftover funds from military pay and pensions accounts to help President Donald Trump pay for his long-sought border wall.

Sen. Dick Durbin told The Associated Press on Thursday: “It’s coming out of military pay and pensions. $1 billion. That’s the plan.”

Durbin says the funds are available because Army recruitment is down and a voluntary early military retirement program is being underutilized.

The development comes as Pentagon officials are seeking to minimize the amount of wall money that would come from military construction projects that are so cherished by lawmakers.

The Illinois Democrat says, “Imagine the Democrats making that proposal — that for whatever our project is, we’re going to cut military pay and pensions.”

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(This story was originally published on March 7, 2019)

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