Pentagon Notifies Congress It Authorized the Transfer of $1 Billion to Begin New Border Wall Construction
The Pentagon notified Congress Monday night it authorized the transfer of $1 billion to begin new border wall construction.
CNN obtained a Pentagon budget notification that was sent to Capitol Hill Monday night that showed up to $1 billion will go toward building 57 miles of border wall.
The Department of Defense authorized the Army Corp of Engineers to begin planning and construction for the project Monday night. The department will direct the funds toward 18-foot-high fencing along the Yuma and El Paso sections of the border, according to a letter acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan sent to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
President Trump declared a national emergency in February to secure funding for a border wall.
Under the national emergency, Trump is able to funnel money budgeted for the Pentagon to fund the border wall.
The Democrat-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate recently passed a resolution to stop President Trump’s national emergency declaration; 12 Senate Republicans voted with the Dems to stop Trump.
President Trump promptly vetoed the resolution — his first veto of his presidency.
Monday’s announcement is just the beginning. Trump is planning on redirecting another $1.5 billion from the fund in the near future.
As expected, Senate Democrats immediately objected to the transfer of money.
Every single Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittees on Defense and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs signed a letter objecting the transfer of money, claiming the Pentagon did not seek permission before redirecting the money, reported CNN.
“We strongly object to both the substance of the funding transfer, and to the Department implementing the transfer without seeking the approval of the congressional defense committees and in violation of provisions in the defense appropriation itself,” the senators wrote. “As a result, we have serious concerns that the Department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont; Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois; Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island; Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii; Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana; Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington; Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut; Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin; Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California; and Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico.
Now that Mueller’s investigation is over, the President can concentrate on fulfilling his campaign promises to the American people.