Trump to Divert Additional $7.2 Billion in Pentagon Funds for Border Wall

Cheryl Sanders
January 15, 2020

But American taxpayers are paying instead - and wall funding has been a major source of conflict between Democratic lawmakers and Trump as they negotiate agency funding bills each year. In late 2018, House Democrats' refusal to bow to Trump's demand for additional wall funding, led to the longest government shutdown in USA history as lawmakers struggled to pass the federal budget.

Congress authorized almost $700 billion in defense spending for 2020, a slight increase over last year's levels.

The Supreme Court of the United States in July ruled that the president had the authority to take the decision. In total, about $12 billion has been allocated for the wall. And billions more have been requested.

The $3.6 billion the White House shifted from 2019 military construction projects would be "deferred, " Pentagon officials said past year, and would proceed, in some cases without delay, once Congress "backfilled" the diverted funds in the 2020 budget. The US is planning to complete its goal of building nearly 885 miles, which is about 1,424 km of the wall along its Mexico border by 2020.

In September, CNN reported that the Trump administration was discussing diverting more money from the Pentagon budget to constructing the border wall, a U.S. official familiar with funding of the project told CNN at the time. The new, 30-foot (9-meter) walls do replace other barriers, but those were shorter and easier to cross.

"I can tell you that we remain confident that we are on track to 400, 450 miles that are either completed or under construction by the end of 2020", Wolf told reporters.

President Donald Trump is preparing to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year, five times what Congress authorized him to spend on the project in the 2020 budget, according to internal planning figures obtained by The Washington Post.

Asked if that support was financial as well, Esper replied, "If that's what it takes, we are prepared to support". "Having failed to get his way in Congress, it appears President Trump is now once again forcing service members and their families to pay for his wall by cancelling even more vital military construction projects", House Democratic appropriators said in a statement. "He is choosing politics over their readiness and quality of life".

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