Defense Secretary Mark Esper Signs Off on $3.6 Billion for Border Wall

Defense Secretary Mark Esper Signs Off on $3.6 Billion for Border Wall

About half of the US$3.6 billion will come from projects within the United States and its territories; the other half will come from construction projects the U.S. military was planning to carry out in foreign countries.

The Pentagon gained access to the authority after Trump declared a national emergency in mid-February, having failed to convince Congress to provide more money for the project.

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

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.

Trump declared a "national emergency" in February at the U.S. southern border after lawmakers in Congress refused to approve the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded to the long-promised barrier.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) answers questions following a vote on the budget agreement August 1, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Schumer has slammed President Donald Trump for trying to "cannibalize already allocated military funding" to build his long-promised border wall.

As promised, the Trump administration is pulling funds away from military projects in order to continue the construction of President Trump's pet project ahead of the 2020 election: his border wall.

Schumer said that the lost funding would delay critical construction projects at military installations in NY, such as the US Military Academy at West Point.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper made this known in a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Of the $8 billion, as much as $3.6 billion was expected to be drawn from military construction funds. That criteria included not taking funds from projects for military housing, barracks or dormitories and any project contracted for construction before the end of fiscal year 2019, which is September 30.

"Canceling military construction projects at home and overseas will undermine our national security and the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure", said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.

Democrat appropriators sent a letter to Esper Tuesday requesting additional information about the projects that will be impacted.

Since taking office, Trump has demanded that Congress fund construction of a wall on the southern border-his landmark campaign promise.

There are now some 5,500 active duty troops on the border in addition to some 2,000 National Guard forces.

The Laredo project and one in El Centro, California, are on private property, which would require purchase or confiscation, according to the court filing. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed just about 60 miles of "replacement" barrier during the first 2½ years of Trump's presidency, all of it in areas that previously had border infrastructure.

Related Articles