Trump’s border wall hits a wall as Pentagon cancels parts funded from its budget

The US Department of Defense said on Friday it was cancelling the construction of parts of former president Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico that were being built using military funds.

All unobligated money was being returned to military, the Pentagon said.

Trump declared a national emergency en 2019, in an effort to redirect funding to build a wall along the southern border.

Joe Biden issued a proclamation on 20 enero, his first day in office, ordering a freeze on border wall projects and directing a review of the legality of funding and contracting methods.

“The Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the national guard and reserve equipment account,” said a Pentagon spokesperson, Jamal Brown.

Brown said the returned funds would be used for deferred military construction projects.

It was not immediately clear how much would be returned to the military, but it was likely to be several billion dollars.

Trump’s diversion of funds from the Pentagon was heavily criticized by lawmakers, who said it put national security at risk and circumvented Congress.

En 2019, the military said more than 120 construction projects would be adversely affected by Trump’s move.

The Department of Homeland Security also announced on Friday that it would take steps to address “physical dangers resulting from the previous administration’s approach to border wall construction”.

It said it would repair the Rio Grande Valley flood barrier system, into which it said wall construction under the Trump administration had blown large holes. The department also said it work to remediate soil erosion along a wall segment in San Diego.

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