Pentagon authorizes $1 billion to build part of Trump's border-wall
Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said today that he had authorized $1 billion to build part of the wall sought by US President Donald Trump along the US-Mexico border. The Department of Homeland Security asked the Pentagon to build 92 kilometers of 5.5-meter fencing, build and improve roads, and install lighting to support Trump's emergency declaration as concerns the border. Read the details here.
Shanahan "authorized the commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing up to $1 billion in support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol", a Pentagon statement read. The department of defense issued the statement just hours before Shanahan was due to testify in Congress to present and also defend the draft budget by Pentagon.
The acting defense secretary defended the decision by citing federal law. He said the law "gives the Department of Defense the authority to install lighting and construct fences and roads to block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of anti-narcotics activities of the federal law enforcement agencies." Trump even declared a national emergency last month over the border-wall funding.
The US president had last month declared a national emergency in order to get his $8 billion plan for the border wall funded without the approval of the Congress. The emergency move drew condemnation from both the president's rival Democrats and fellow Republicans.