To support President Donald Trump’s Feb. 15 national emergency declaration, the Pentagon’s acting secretary has authorized up to $1 billion to begin construction of the border wall between southern U.S. and Mexico.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan yesterday authorized the commander of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to start planning and executing up to $1 billion to support the Department of homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol.
The Defense Department said the funds will be used to build 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, improve roads and install lighting.
Shanahan cited a federal law he says gives DOD the authority to build roads and fences and install lighting “to block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of Federal law enforcement agencies.”
After the Pentagon notified Congress about transferring the $1 billion, lawmakers on the Senate Subcommittee on Defense and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies wrote to Shanahan saying DOD didn’t seek the go-ahead from the defense committees before moving the funds.