Pentagon halts numerous projects for wall funding?!
Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, authorized the use of U.S. military funding towards projects to build President Donald Trump's border wall. Approximately $3.6 billion was allocated towards 11 military construction projects for Trump's use. The funding will cover construction for around 175 miles—about 280 kilometers—of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Esper’s decision Tuesday fuels what has been a continuous problem between the Trump administration and Congress over immigration policies and the funding of the border wall. It sets up a difficult debate for law-makers who refused, earlier this year, to approve almost $6 billion for the wall. But now they must decide if they will refund the projects that are being used to supply the money.
Pentagon officials seemed reluctant to say which of the 127 projects were to be affected, but said details were to be after members of Congress were notified. They had claimed that half of the money will be coming from U.S. military project funds, and the other half will be coming from projects in other countries.
Capitol Hill Democrats have promised they won't replace the money needed to revive the projects. Some even vowed to try to use a temporary government-wide funding bill to attempt to block Trump altogether. The ACLU also said they'll be filing the same motion to block Trump from using the $3.6 billion from being used.
In early February, President Trump sought the money when he declared a national emergency for the border crisis. In July, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump's allotment of Pentagon funds for the wall was indeed acceptable. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Pentagon comptroller, Elaine McCusker, expects construction at the border to start in about 130 days, per CNN.
She's also claimed that the now unfunded projects are not going to be canceled. However, the Pentagon added that the military projects are being "deferred" rather than canceled. The Defense Department, however, has no guarantee from Congress that any of the money will be replaced.
Representative, Henry Cuellar, of Texas commented on the situation: "It takes away from the men and women who are waiting for an air traffic control tower or waiting for a dining building or a dormitory. It affects the morale of our men and women and their readiness. So it's wrong," He continues with, "It doesn't take any input from the local communities. It will take away from private property rights."