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US Pentagon prepared to provide additional financial support to border wall: Esper

02:15  15 january  2020
02:15  15 january  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Supported by. Pentagon officials on Tuesday began notifying congressional representatives from areas that house the affected projects, and the decision to And while Mr. Esper did not use the word “ wall ” in the letter, it is likely to serve as evidence for both the president and his re-election campaign

President Trump is preparing to divert an additional .2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year The move would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to .4 billion under The shutdown ended with Democrats agreeing to provide just .4

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday that the Pentagon is prepared to provide additional financial support for the president's border wall.

New border wall is constructed in San Diego near Imperial Beach CA, Sept. 4, 2019.© Mani Albrecht/U.S. Customs and Border Protection New border wall is constructed in San Diego near Imperial Beach CA, Sept. 4, 2019.

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. The figure would be five times what Congress authorized for that purpose in the 2020 budget.

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Congress has provided far less than the White House would like for border wall construction, but shifting funds from Lawmakers from both parties criticized White House plans to take an additional .2 billion this year from Pentagon funds to pay for President Trump’s border wall project, as more

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has authorized the diverting of .6 billion in military construction funds for 11 wall projects on the southern border with Mexico, according to defense officials and a letter from Esper to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has been obtained by CNN.

MORE: Trump praises appeals court decision that military funds can be used for border wall

"The first priority of the DOD is protection of the homeland," Esper said during a Pentagon press conference with his Japanese counterpart on Tuesday. "So the southwest border is a security issue. And so we'll see how things play out, but we remain committed to supporting the Department of Homeland Security and it's mission."

Asked if that support was financial as well, Esper replied, "If that's what it takes, we are prepared to support."

a construction site: New border wall is constructed in San Diego near Imperial Beach CA, Sept. 4, 2019.© Mani Albrecht/U.S. Customs and Border Protection New border wall is constructed in San Diego near Imperial Beach CA, Sept. 4, 2019.

According to the Post, the Trump administration wants to use $3.7 billion from the military construction fund and $3.5 billion from the counter-narcotics fund to allow the government to complete about 885 miles of new fencing by spring 2020. More than $6 billion was already diverted from those accounts for the border wall in 2019.

This contractor says he can build Trump's border wall faster and cheaper than the US can

  This contractor says he can build Trump's border wall faster and cheaper than the US can MISSION, Texas - President Donald Trump took office vowing to build "a big, beautiful wall" along the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border, but so far the federal government has managed to build only about one mile of new border wall. Texas may be the biggest obstacle. Unlike in other states, most of the United States borderland in Texas is privately owned, which has delayed construction by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Federal lawyers have had to comb property records, track down landowners, make offers to buy the land and — if owners refuse to sell — file lawsuits to seize the land.

President Trump is preparing to divert an additional .2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year The move would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to .4 billion under The shutdown ended with Democrats agreeing to provide just .4

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved an additional 20 miles of 30-foot high barriers for the southern border , a section of wall that is being paid for by previously repurposed Pentagon funds.

When asked for a comment on the Post's reporting, a Pentagon spokesperson said, “The Department of Defense has no new announcements with regard to border wall construction."

MORE: Trump administration announces completion of 100 miles of border wall construction

It was only last week that a federal appeals court ruled the administration could use $3.6 billion from the military construction funds for the border wall. The Jan. 8 ruling overturned a federal district judge's order that blocked the money -- a temporary win for the president pending further appeals.

Last Friday, the Trump administration announced it had completed 100 miles of barrier along the southern border. The president has repeatedly pledged to construct 450 miles of barrier by the end of 2020 but most of the 100 miles completed thus far have been replacements of the smaller barrier designs that were constructed with decades-old technology.

The U.S.-Mexico border is more than 1,950 miles long.

ABC News' Lauren Lantry and Quinn Owen contributed to this report.

Twin Court Rulings Buoy Construction of Trump’s Border Wall .
WASHINGTON — The White House on Thursday celebrated a federal court ruling that will allow $3.6 billion in military construction funds to be used for the construction of the border wall. A separate court on Thursday lifted a restraining order on a private group allied with President Trump that wants to building its own barriers on private land. The twin rulings buoyed Mr. Trump as his administration has found itself behind schedule on the president’s promise to build 450 miles of border wall by 2021.

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