The Pentagon notified the US Congress on Monday that it has authorised $1 billion for new border wall construction at the US-Mexico border. File photo/ AFP
WASHINGTON: Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said on Monday he had authorized $1 billion to build part of the wall sought by President Donald Trump along the US-Mexico border.
The Department of Homeland Security asked the Pentagon to build 57 miles (92 kilometers) of 18-foot (5.5-meter) fencing, build and improve roads, and install lighting to support Trump’s emergency declaration as concerns the border.
Shanahan “authorized the commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing up to $1 billion in support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol,” a Pentagon statement read.
The acting defense secretary defended the move by citing a federal law that he said “gives the Department of Defense the authority to construct roads and fences and to install lighting to block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of federal law enforcement agencies.”
The statement was released just hours before Shanahan was due to testify in Congress to present and defend the Pentagon’s draft budget.
Frustrated by Congress’s refusal to provide the budget he sought to build a border wall, Trump declared a national emergency last month in order to bypass lawmakers to unlock $8 billion in funding.
The move drew condemnation from both the president’s rival Democrats and fellow Republicans, who warned it was an abuse of presidential powers and created a dangerous precedent.
President Donald Trump’s decision to revive the fight over the Affordable Care Act has stirred a political and policy debate among Republicans on how best to approach the divisive issue heading into the 2020 election.
Let us agree that Donald Trump is not the Manchurian Candidate. A useful idiot for the Russians, perhaps, but not an agent of a hostile power. He has certainly lied about his contacts with the Russians, which gives them leverage, but we must accept Mueller’s collusion that he was not acting in conspiracy with Putin.
The bright pink installations were set up along the border fence between Sunland Park in New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.
He was “not kidding around,” Donald Trump said. This was going to be the week, he vowed, that he would shut the southern border if Mexico or the Democrats in Congress or somebody didn’t do something about migrants and drugs coming in. “This is a National Emergency!” he tweeted on Wednesday. So when, then, would he issue the order? Thursday? Friday? Saturday?
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