Pentagon approves military construction cash for Trump's border wall

Pentagon approves military construction cash for Trump's border wall”

The Trump administration is reportedly planning to enact a plan to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build the border wall on the southern border.

The administration does not plan to provide a full list of affected projects to Capitol Hill until it has had a chance to inform individual lawmakers, congressional officials said. Of that, about $1.8 billion would be taken from military projects overseas, while the other half would come from projects in the continental US and territories, according to one of the congressional officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement was not public.

Under the declaration, about $3.6 billion designated for military construction projects would be rerouted for border barrier construction.

Trump declared a national emergency in February in order to use military construction and other federal funds to build the wall after Congress provided only a portion of the $5.7 billion he wanted.

Hoffman added that the specific projects affected would be released after lawmakers were notified of the decision.

"This isn't just an attempt to shift funding, it's a bid to shift power away from Congress to the president", said Sen.

The letter does not include the word "wall", as is typical in Defense Department announcements of this kind, but details how the funds will be used for new fencing projects at various border locations. And it sets up a hard debate for lawmakers who refused earlier this year to approve almost $6 billion for the wall, but now must decide if they will refund the projects that are being used to provide the money.

Elaine McCusker, the deputy under secretary of defence comptroller, said construction could begin as early as within 100 days on land owned by the Defence Department, like the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range in Arizona.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the decision would undermine national security and "the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure".

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who leads the House panel overseeing money for military construction projects, reiterated on the call earlier Tuesday. The most expensive is for 52 miles in Laredo, Texas, at a cost of $1.27-billion. Two projects in Arizona are on land overseen by the Navy and will be the first to be built, no earlier than October 3. It sued earlier over the use of Defence Department counterdrug money, but the Supreme Court lifted a spending freeze on that money in July, allowing the first Pentagon-funded wall project to break ground last month in Arizona.

There are now more than 4,500 active duty and National Guard troops on the border. He said the funding shift will affect the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Lt. Gen. Andrew W. Poppas, director of operations, J-3, Joint Staff, says "we do" expect to be able to reduce some of the troops assigned to the border mission with the construction of these barriers but would not say by how much.

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