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Pentagon approves use of $3.6 billion for Trump’s border wall

Washington, September 4 (RHC)-- The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that will redirect $3.6 billion from more than 120 U.S. military construction projects to help build or enhance 175 miles (282 km) of the border wall with Mexico.

Pentagon officials said 127 would be affected and the first $1.8 billion would come from deferred military construction projects outside the United States.  While the second half would come from deferred military projects inside the United States.

“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,” according to Elaine McCusker, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Comptroller.

Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump declared a so-called national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.   The “national emergency” on the southern border followed the rejection of Trump’s budget demand in 2019, which gave him broad and special executive powers, under the National Emergencies Act of 1976.  Especially those to divert federal money towards his campaign promise.

“My view of it is that stealing money from military construction, at home and abroad, will undermine our national security, quality of life and morale of our troops, and that indeed makes America less safe,”  Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, according to an aide.

Trump has redirected $601 million U$D in Treasury Department forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion in Defense Department drug interdiction funds and now $3.6 billion from a military construction budget, for total spending of $8.1 billion for the wall. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Tuesday it would ask for a court order preventing the Trump administration from reallocating military funds to use for border wall construction.  "We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall,” ACLU attorney Dror Ladin said in a statement.

This new “win” for Trump comes as the 2020 presidential race underway with Trump seeking re-election.  As his “Build the wall” promise has morphed into the rallying campaign cry “Finish the wall.”

Edited by Ed Newman
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