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Republican coronavirus bill seeks to fund Pentagon projects that were cut to pay for Trump's border wall

The Republican coronavirus response bi...

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 9:45 AM

The Republican coronavirus response bill includes some $8 billion for the Department of Defense, including funds that would go towards military programs that were cut by the Trump administration in order to pay for the wall on the southern border with Mexico.

While previous coronavirus response packages had included prohibitions on using the assistance to fund border barrier projects, the current proposal backfills money that was used to pay for the wall while also trimming federal unemployment benefits to $200 from the current level of $600 for Americans out of work due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The new proposal unveiled on Monday includes millions in funding for Air Force F-35 jets, C-130J transport planes, and P-8 surveillance aircraft.

It also includes $260 million for the Navy's EPF Expeditionary Fast Transport ship which is built in Alabama, the home state of the chairman of the Senate Approbations Committee, Republican Sen. Richard Shelby.

All these military projects had previously been subjected to cuts in February as the Trump administration diverted Pentagon funds to the border wall via a process known as reprogramming.

That reprogramming move drew the ire of Democrats and even some Republican lawmakers. The Trump administration defended the move by saying that the projects were "Congressional special interest" items and not Pentagon priorities.

Not all of the projects that were subject to reprogramming are being back-filled in the new proposal and it contains funding for other projects including wing replacements for A-10 aircraft that didn't lose funding when money was diverted to pay for the wall.

Democrats were quick to criticize the Republican proposal.

"The bill contains billions of dollars for programs unrelated to the coronavirus, including over $8 billion for what appears to be a wish-list from the Department of Defense for manufacturing of planes, ships, and other weapons systems," Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said in a statement.

"The bill provides nothing to address the long lines at foodbanks and shortchanges education and childcare, but we can shore up the defense industry? I am at a loss for words," he added.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
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Union4582
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Klamath4013
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Douglas3314
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Josephine2583
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Clatsop2340
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Crook872
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Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
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