The Pentagon informed Congress Monday night that it authorized $1 billion dollars for the construction of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico Border.
The Department of Defense said in a statement that “These funds will be used to support DHS’s request to build 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border in support of the February 15 national emergency declaration on the southern border of the United States.”
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will appear on Capitol Hill at a House Armed Services Committee to take any questions lawmakers may have on the Pentagon’s actions. (RELATED: Trump Frees Up $8 Billion To Build The Wall)
The Associated Press reports that the Pentagon’s plans could take funding from as many as 150 projects around the world. However, defense officials have said that any funds taken away will be refunded next year.
Democratic lawmakers have raised an outcry, saying it is not believable that Congress will simply refund money in this way.
“We take our oversight role very seriously, and will act as necessary to defend Congress’ constitutional prerogatives in this matter,” said Democratic Washington Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House panel.
All Democratic senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittees on Defense and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies signed a letter objecting to the funding for the wall, according to 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 in the letter. “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 Pentagon has authorized the money and the Trump administration has said it will be using another $1.5 billion sometime in the future. The news has been widely celebrated by Republicans who have pushed this initiative, including Donald Trump Jr. He hailed the news as another Trump victory, in addition to the results of the Mueller investigation and the charges against Michael Avenatti.
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