Leahy criticizes Trump over $3.6B diverted for wall funding

WASHINGTON (WCAX) Lawmakers are back on Capitol Hill after their August recess with a full slate of legislative priorities.

Among the Senators to give floor speeches Tuesday were Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who spoke out against President Trump's move to take funds out of the military's construction budget to continue building a border wall. President Trump asked for a possible $3.6 billion out of that fund earlier this year.

Leahy blasted the decision, saying it takes away from Congress' constitutionally-mandated control of the federal purse strings. He says Congress alone gets to decide how to spend American tax dollars.

"In our democracy and under our constitution, the president has to respect those decisions, but this president apparently has decided to ignore our country's founding document -- the Constitution -- or hasn't read it," Leahy said.

The Pentagn money was earmarked for 127 projects over the next year. Federal officials say those projects are not canceled, but they will need Congress to back-fill those funds.