The House Appropriations Committee has determined that it is no longer possible to take back $6.3 billion in funding diverted from defense programs, including modernization, to help pay for former President Donald Trump’s ill-fated border wall with Mexico.

A House Democratic aide on May 11th said that of the $9.9 billion diverted from appropriated DoD funds to the border wall, $6.3 billion was funneled through the DoD counter-drug account before being redirected to be used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the border wall.

“The counter-drug account is one-year funding, so the remaining unspent funds are no longer available for obligation,” according to the aide. “This is applicable only to the defense appropriations subcommittee [funding] and does not apply to the $3.6 billion in deferred military construction projects in the military construction-VA appropriations subcommittee’s jurisdiction.”

The $6.3 billion shifted to the counter-drug account and then the border wall came through three, reprogramming actions since March 2019–$2.5 billion from the military personnel account and $3.8 billion from DoD procurement items added by Congress in the fiscal 2020 appropriations process, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report last year.

On Apr. 30, the Pentagon, at the direction of President Joe Biden, cancelled all border wall construction paid for with funds diverted from DoD accounts, including schools for military children, $1.8 billion in overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and $1.3 billion from the National Guard and Reserve equipment account.

But DoD was careful to say that it would only move funding from the border wall to construction, not to modernization or the other accounts under the jurisdiction of the House Appropriations Defense (HAC-D) subcommittee. That planned approach seems to reinforce the likelihood that funding stripped by Trump from DoD modernization and other accounts to fund the border wall is no longer available.

“With this cancellation, unobligated military construction funds that had been diverted from military construction projects will be used for previously deferred military construction projects, allowing some of these critical efforts to move forward as soon as possible,” DoD said on Apr. 30. “The department is reviewing the deferred project list to determine funding prioritization. The department will continue to work with its interagency partners regarding any additional steps that should be taken at construction sites affected by project cancellation.”

At a U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force fiscal 2022 posture hearing on May 7th before the HAC-D panel, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), the vice chairman of the subcommittee, said that the Air Force has told him that any future assignment of Lockheed Martin [LMT] C-130Js to the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station would require the station having a minimum of eight C-130Js as the service tries to avoid the higher costs associated with operating and maintaining a mixed fleet of Js and older C-130Hs.

Ryan said that Youngstown would have nearly that amount of C-130Js–seven–had two not been taken from DoD procurement to help fund the border wall.

“We would like to get the money back for an additional two C-130Js,” Ryan said.

But Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), the chairman of HAC-D, informed Ryan that Chris Bigelow, the clerk of HAC-D, had written a memo for members that DoD would not be receiving funding back from its diversion to help pay for the border wall.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown told the panel that the service is taking part in a reprise of a 2018 Mobility Capabilities and Requirements study by U.S. Transportation Command that determined a need for 300 C-130s.

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), a member of the panel, told Brown that she is concerned that the new study may affirm a need for just 255 C-130s despite increasing airlift needs to address natural disasters, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and civil unrest, as she said that half of the National Guard units that arrived in Washington, D.C. to deal with the Jan. 6 insurrection and its aftermath arrived via air mobility aircraft.