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Trump Slashes Neocon Dreams by Cutting Bloated F-35 Budget to Pay for Border Wall

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The Pentagon is looking to divert $3.8 billion, mostly from its fiscal 2020 weapons procurement budget, to help fund President Donald Trump’s border wall, according to a report from Defense News.

Defense News listed the items that are expected to be cut:

A mass of aircraft purchases including F-35 joint strike fighters, C-130J cargo aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper drones and P-8 maritime surveillance planes, as well as ground vehicles and naval priorities.

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In sum, the plan would take $2.202 billion in FY20 defense appropriations and $1.629 billion in FY20 overseas contingency operations funding and direct it towards the wall. The wall on the southern border is a crucial plank of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

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Air Force and Navy aviation spending make up the bulk of the Pentagon’s cuts, with aircraft procurement being slashed by $558 million for Navy and Marine Corps and $861 million for the Air Force.

In the Navy’s case, the Pentagon plans on cutting two of the six F-35B short takeoff and landing aircraft that Congress tacked on to the FY20 budget. It will also slash two MV-22 Ospreys, claiming that “current funding is more than sufficient to keep the production line open.” Further, the Navy plans on eliminating funding for one of the nine P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft funded in FY20, declaring that the additional aircraft is “[in] excess to the 117 aircraft required.”

As far as the Air Force’s budget is concerned, the Pentagon cut funding for four of the eight C-130Js that Congress added for the Reserve and Air National Guard. The department said that funding for those aircrafts can be re-allocated for fiscal year 2021.

The request would get rid of eight MQ-9 Reaper drones, cutting off most of the funding Congress added for an increase of 12 MQ-9s. “The program is currently undergoing a strategic review,” the department noted in a written justification. “Procurement, if necessary, can be rescheduled to a later fiscal year.”

It additionally peels off $156 million for advanced procurement for the F-35A and cuts $180 million for light attack aircraft for the Air Force.

The Army expects to lose $100 million in funding for National Guard Humvee modernization and $194.5 million in Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck funding.

The reprogramming request also implements cutbacks of $650 million in advanced procurement funding for an America-class Amphibious Assault Ship, LHA-9. This ship is currently being built in Mississippi at Ingalls Shipbuilding. According its website, Huntington Ingalls Industries claims that the advanced funding Congress provided, “enables a hot production line and a supplier base of 457 companies in 39 states to build this powerful warship.”

The reprogramming also reduces funding for one expeditionary fast transport ship, which is built in Alabama at Austal USA. The Republican Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby has taken a particular interest in this project. According to the reprogramming document, the ship was viewed as “excess to current programmatic need.”

“The procurement exceeds the program-of-record requirement,” the document highlighted. “This is a congressional special interest item.”

Furthermore, the National Guard and reserves are set to lose approximately $1.3 billion in what the reprogramming request views as unnecessary funding. This decision was made due to historic under-execution of the previous year’s funds.

This is a solid win for America First and big blow against neoconservatives, neoliberals, and other factions that suck up the military-industrial complex.

The quicker that Trump’s wall can be built, the better.

Big League Guns

Merrick Garland Suggests that Getting Rid of Lawsuit Protections is Not a Second Amendment Violation

Garland as AG will be a disaster for the right to bear arms.

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If Merrick Garland is nominated as Attorney General, the Second Amendment is in big trouble.

Based on his comments at a Senate hearing on February 22, 2021, Garland made a suggestion that the repeal of lawsuit protections for gun manufacturers is not unconstitutional. 

AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News reminded his readers that President Joe Biden campaigned on a platform of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which shielded lawful gun manufacturers from lawsuits.

In a previous Breitbart News report, Biden spoke at an MSNBC forum in 2019 alongside gun control organizations such as March for Our Lives where he expressed his support for gun manufacturers to be subject to lawsuits.

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At the speech, Biden suggested that the PLCC be repealed. He declared, “No other outfit in history has gotten this kind of protection” and asserted that the legal actions would bring about “change overnight.”

In a subsequent occasion on February 7, 2020, Breitbart News covered Biden’s remarks to a New Hampshire crowd, in which he stated that it was a “mistake” to shield firearms manufacturers from lawsuits. He continued, “The first thing I’m going to do as president is work to get rid of that.” 

Later that month, Breitbart News recalled how Biden called out gun manufacturers at a South Carolina rally and boasted, “I’m going to take you down.”

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Senator Mike Lee asked Garland about his views on removing protections for gun manufacturers. Garland responded, “I have not thought myself deeply about this. I don’t think it raises a Second Amendment issue.”

When he was questioned if he is in favor of Biden’s plans to ban so-called “assault weapons”, Garland responded, “Where there is room under the law for the president’s policies to be pursued, then I think the president is entitled to pursue them.”

Biden’s track record as a gun control proponent is well-documented. From his support of gun-free zones at schools to the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, Biden is Gun Control Inc.’s guy. With Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, there will most certainly be attempts to ram gun control down our throats. If they can’t beat us legislatively, they will most certainly use the courts to undermine the Second Amendment. Pro-gun organizations should be ready to lawyer up and use whatever means possible to keep courts from destroying our rights.

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