Pentagon notifies Congress $1 billion legal to start new wall construction

by Brett Harper

(CNN)The Pentagon notified Congress Monday night that it has legal the transfer of $1 billion to start new wall production alongside the United States-Mexico border, drawing instant objections from Democratic lawmakers.

Pentagon finance reprogramming notification sent to Capitol Hill on Monday and acquired through CNN indicates that as much as $1 billion will pass toward constructing fifty-seven miles of fencing, enhancing roads, and different measures on the southern border. The Department of Defense authorized the Army Corp of Engineers to start planning and construction for the assignment Monday night. The department will direct the funds toward 18-foot-excessive fencing alongside the Yuma and El Paso sections of the border, in step with a letter acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan despatched to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

In February, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency that allows you to funnel billions of dollars to wall construction. As a part of his statement, he directed counterdrug monies to fund new wall construction partly. Under the national emergency, the different budgets can also construct the wall and related infrastructure, inclusive of the army construction price range. Monday’s assertion became just the first $1 billion the administration is making available for wall investment. The management said formerly it plans to shift a further $1.5 billion sooner or later in the destiny. These preliminary counterdrug finances will ultimately float from the Department of Homeland Security to the Army Corps of Engineers to begin production. Senate Democrats immediately objected to the transfer of cash to construct fencing along the southern border to dam drug smuggling. Every Democratic senator at the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittees on Defense and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies signed directly to the letter written to Shanahan objecting to moving $1 billion in personnel funds to counter drug price range to go toward the wall. The senators say the Pentagon did no longer searching for permission before notifying the committee of the switch.

“We strongly item to both the substance of the investment transfer, and to the Department implementing the transfer without in search of the approval of the congressional defense committees and in violation of provisions inside the protection appropriation itself,” the senators wrote. “As a result, we’ve serious worries that the Department has allowed political interference and puppy tasks to return in advance of many near-term, crucial readiness troubles facing our navy.”
The letter became signed by using Sens. Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont; Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois; Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island; Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii; Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana; Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington; Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut; Tammy Stanley Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin; Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California; and Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico.

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