Pentagon pays $ 1.5 billion more for border wall

The Pentagon announced Friday the reallocation of an additional $ 1.5 billion for the construction of new barriers to stem the tide of illegal immigrants on the border with Mexico.

He had already reallocated $ 1 billion in March.

Acting Defense Minister Patrick Shanahan (whose official nomination for the position was announced Thursday, but still to be validated by the Senate) has agreed to take over the 125-kilometer barrier replacement in Arizona and Texas The ministry said Friday in a statement.

But he also warned: “I will not reprogram extra money for the border wall.”

“The funding will come from a number of sources, including savings, changes in approach and changed requirements,” said Tom Crosson, spokesperson for the ministry.

“This transfer of funds will not affect the military preparation and will not have any impact on the conditions of the military,” he said.

Dissatisfied with Congress’s refusal to grant the budget envelope it required for the construction of the border wall, one of its main campaign promises, President Donald Trump declared in February a national emergency at the border and asked the Defense to reallocate $ 6 billion.

Mr. Shanahan’s $ 1 billion dollar budget was for the construction of 92 kilometers of a 5.5-meter high barrier, as well as upgrading roads and installing lighting. .

The Pentagon is under pressure to show that it is not diverting money originally budgeted by Congress to fund combat missions or other crucial work.

The interim minister indicated that some of the redirected funds were money for the mission in Afghanistan but not spent.

“We have found ways to do this without it affecting our readiness,” he said.

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