Sen. Tim Scott: Porous Border 'Is Certainly A National Security Issue'

Susan Jones | April 2, 2018 | 6:02am EDT
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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) (Photo: Screen grab/CBS's "Face the Nation")

( - Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said without an act of Congress, President Trump cannot use military funding to pay for his border wall, as Trump suggested he might do.

"I think it would take an act of Congress to make sure that we prioritize and appropriate the dollars for that objective," Scott told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.


"The reality of it is, as commander in chief, he can certainly send signals through (Defense) Secretary Mattis, have a conversation with Congress about where those dollars should be spent. The good news is, we're spending. We're providing more money to the military than we have in a very long time, more than a decade," Scott said.

"The unfortunate reality is that the priorities of the DOD have already been set. However, our southern border is very porous. The truth is that more folks came through our southern border that did not come from Mexico. It is certainly a national security issue."

Scott said it's more appropriate for the Homeland Security Department, rather than the Defense Department, to "find the resources" to build Trump's long-promised wall.

"You're saying Congress would need to weigh in to reprogram those funds?" host Margaret Brennan asked Scott.

"Absolutely," the senator replied. "We should not expect that from the president," he added.

A week ago, President Trump said he might have found a way to build his wall, even though the omnibus spending bill rules out anything other than see-through "fences" and "levees."

Trump tweeted at the time: "Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!"

(M stands for military.)

In a second tweet, Trump wrote: "Much can be done with the $1.6 Billion given to building and fixing the border wall. It is just a down payment. Work will start immediately. The rest of the money will come - and remember DACA, the Democrats abandoned you (but we will not)!"

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