Border wall remains point of contention in defense authorization bill talks

NPP Pressroom

Fox 45 News
Stephen Loiaconi

Lindsay Koshgarian, program director for the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, is skeptical either party would want to force the Department of Defense into a partial shutdown. It is probable they would instead pass another continuing resolution to keep funding the department at 2019 levels, although military leaders have cautioned operating under a CR causes complications and delays for existing programs and those planned for the upcoming year.

“This uncertainty about where the money is going to come from and how much it’s going to be does affect planning,” Koshgarian said. [...]

“Last year, the big fight over the border wall was not part of the military budget, and this year it does touch the military budget,” Koshgarian said. “It’s an issue where neither side is likely to want to budge.” [...]

According to Koshgarian, it is unlikely Democrats or Republicans will want to sign off on a version of the NDAA that does not resolve border wall funding one way or another, even though it could be addressed through separate legislation without appropriations for the entire military on the line.

“It could be tabled, but I don’t think it would be,” she said. “Neither side would be comfortable tabling it because the NDAA is the biggest leverage either side has to go in the direction they want to go.”

That leaves lawmakers with few options and only a few weeks left to get something acceptable to both sides passed. After President Trump took the blame from most Americans for a 35-day partial shutdown over wall funding last year and eventually backed down under public pressure, House Democrats may be confident they can win this fight again.

“Democrats will not be likely to give in any more easily, especially in an election year,” Koshgarian said.

Read the full article at Fox 45 News.