Trump to Take Another $7.2 Billion From the Pentagon for Border Wall

Trump’s tough policy wall and other commentary

Enlarge Image Donald Trump Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Sipa

"But I do support building the wall".

The Trump administration's attempt to construct the barrier have been met with numerous challenges in federal courts.

The Washington Post, citing internal planning figures, reported that President Donald Trump was preparing to divert an additional $7.2 billion from the Pentagon's military construction and counter-narcotics funds to border wall construction. With the additional funding, however, the administration will have the option of building a barrier of 885 miles by spring 2022 should Trump win the re-election. A federal appeals court last week allowed the administration to tap $3.6 billion in military construction funds for the border barrier, reversing a lower court decision that halted use of the funds and called Trump's national emergency declaration unlawful.

Congress in December agreed to earmark $1.375 billion for border wall construction in the budget for 2020, while the Trump administration had originally sought $5 billion.

In coordination with the Mexican government, the administration has expanded its "Remain in Mexico" policy to keep asylum seekers from being released into the USA before a decision on their case.

"I'm not in favor of diversions of budgets that were appropriated for specific purposes, and I'd rather see specific appropriations for the wall, " Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said Tuesday. Just under half, or $3.5 billion, will be taken from programs meant to fight drug trafficking.

As in years past, Trump will take money from two parts of the Pentagon budget. In 2019, the White House diverted $2.5 billion from counternarcotics and $3.6 billion from military construction funding for Trump's ambitious project.

Homeland Security officials, who manage border security, referred questions on the funding to the White House, which did not comment.

But that has not happened.

In September, CNN reported that the Trump administration was discussing diverting more money from the Pentagon budget to constructing the border wall, a United States official familiar with funding of the project told CNN at the time. House Democrats have opposed such a maneuver, which they view as acquiescence to the president's defiance of their spending authorities.

European nations also took a hit.

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