As Donald Trump prepares to make the case to the American people that there’s a “crisis” on the southern border supposedly worthy of a government shutdown and maybe even declaring a “national emergency” so he can raid Pentagon coffers to pay for it, a Republican congressman from Texas’s blood-red 13th district is already saying: no way.
“In short I’m opposed to using defense dollars for non-defense purposes,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Washington Post reporter Erica Werner. “I think border security is very important. It is not a responsibility of the Department of Defense.”
Thornberry’s district swung heavily toward the GOP presidential candidate in both 2016 and 2012, with Trump taking it by 79.9 percent and Mitt Romney winning it by 80.2 percent. In other words, that’s one damn red district.
Thornberry also voted with most Republicans last week to reject a Democratic bid to reopen most government agencies and extend Homeland Security funding for a month while negotiations continued over border security. So he wasn’t one of a handful of GOP members who broke ranks to vote with Democrats on those funding measures.
Anyway you slice it, it appears a GOP congressman from arguably the reddest district in the nation just fired a shot across the bow at Trump’s reported intention to siphon off money from the Department of Defense in order to seize border wall funding he can’t get through Congress. Good luck with that prime-time address, Trump.