Pentagon Redirects Border Wall Funds To Defense Projects
WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of Defense has released its plan for the nearly $2.2 billion in funds that were redirected for the border wall under the Trump administration.
The money will go to a broad set of improvements related to the armed forces, according to documents recently released by the Pentagon. In total, the money will restore 66 projects across 16 countries, 11 states, and three territories, the Pentagon said.
Funding restorations in the states include $10,000 for a missile field expansion in Alaska, $25,800 for an Air Force fire and rescue crash station in Florida, as well as for the construction of arms ranges, defense access roads, and maintenance facilities in various places across the country.
In the American territories, the money will go to Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, for instance, the funding will revive Army Guard projects, including readiness and equipment centers and vehicle and aircraft maintenance. In Guam, the projects will include $28,600 for munitions storage for the Air Force.
American military presence abroad will receive a large chunk of the funds, with $1,259,430 going towards far-ranging projects like airfield upgrades and munitions storage for the U.S. Air Force in Slovakia and communication facilities related to the legal office for the U.S. Army in Guantanamo Bay.
During his term, President Trump had diverted money for the construction of the wall along the southern border, which had been a signature promise of his campaign. The diversions were criticized by Democrats as an attempt to usurp Congress’ power of the purse, and as potentially harming American national security.
A deputy spokesperson for the Pentagon said last month that the diverted money was initially intended to fund schools for military children, overseas military construction projects, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account.
This latest Pentagon plan was the result of a presidential proclamation issued by the Biden administration in January that ordered the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security to stop redirecting funds for the border wall, pause construction, and to find appropriate places to redirect the unobligated funds that had been diverted for the wall.
The Biden proclamation, issued on his first day in office, had also described Trump’s border wall as an unserious policy and a “waste of money” that harms national security.
“When President Trump raided much-needed funding for critical military construction projects that supported our service members to pay for his border wall, he jeopardized military readiness by ripping away funds to repair a hazardous waste storage facility at Naval Station Norfolk, provide childcare services for service members at Joint Base Andrews, and much more,” Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, said in a written comment following the Pentagon’s announcement that it was studying where to revert the funds.
Republican members of the Appropriations Committee had argued that scrapping the border wall would itself hurt security at the southern border.
The Pentagon had officially announced the process to revert the funds a little more than a month ago.
In The News
Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He... Read More
Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He was 84. In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. ... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The war in Afghanistan is officially over but the terrorism threat to the United States continues, according to... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The war in Afghanistan is officially over but the terrorism threat to the United States continues, according to military commanders who testified to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. They acknowledged that the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal was disappointing after 20 years of war. A suicide... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Members of the House might not agree on much these days, but one thing they do seem to... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Members of the House might not agree on much these days, but one thing they do seem to be in agreement on is that passing the annual defense spending authorization falls into the same rarified category as mom and apple pie. On Thursday, the... Read More
BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines,... Read More
BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and its allies are becoming more assertive in their approach toward... Read More
WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic... Read More
WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic partnership with the U.K. and Australia. Australia is set to construct eight nuclear-powered submarines through its alliance with the U.S. and the U.K., dashing the country's... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act. These amendments include measures that the Blue Dogs contend would strengthen support for U.S. service members as they transition to civilian life; counter the Chinese... Read More