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To fund Trump’s border wall, US military halted 127 defense projects

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The PBS NewsHour has obtained the list of 127 defense projects that halted by the US military to fund Trump’s border wall. The transfers will shift $3.6 billion to President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a border fence or wall, allowing for 175 miles of new or improved fencing.

The funds will be used to construct a 280-kilometer border wall, which is one of Mr. Trump’s main campaign slogans. The details were announced in writing by US Secretary of Defense Mark Sperre on Wednesday, September 4.

Trump set up this unusual move earlier this year by announcing a national emergency on the southern border and opening the probability of invoking special presidential powers. House Democrats lost an earlier court struggle to try to prevent this kind of fund shift.

In fact, the US Supreme Court let Donald Trump’s government use a part of the Department of Defense’s budget to construct Trump’s border wall in Mexico; this decision is a victory for the Trump administration.

The US Supreme Court, which currently holds a majority of traditional judges against a liberal minority, has allowed the use of the $ 2.5 billion Pentagon budget to build a wall on the Mexican border with five votes in favor and four against.

The now-deferred projects were planned for military installations in 23 states and around the world. They are different, ranging from schools and childcare bureaus to ammunition warehouses and firearms ranges. Defense Secretary Mark Esper agreed to the lists Tuesday but the Pentagon did not publicly release which projects would be covered. Officials sent copies to key offices in Congress, as wanted when large funding is shifted.

Donald Trump, who made the development of the Mexican Wall one of the principal pillars of his 2016 election campaign, has now put strong policies against immigration into the US as one of the slogans of the 2020 election.

Trump announced a national emergency earlier this year to access the funds from the military construction budget. In March, the Pentagon sent to Congress a broad list of projects that could be moved.

127 defense projects halted by the US military to fund Trump’s border wall
Image: News and Guts

A Pentagon official said in guidance that the department was given a “lawful order” by Trump to divert the funds. She stated the Pentagon is working jointly with Congress and its allies abroad to find funding to replace money diverted for Trump’s border wall, but that there are not any guarantees that those funds will get.

Where will Trump’s border wall budget come from?

it would pull funding from 127 Defense Department projects. we’ll mention some of the most important of them here.

Funding of Coast Guard pier project at Bangor cut for the border wall

Funding for a new pier to dock Coast Guard vessels that preserve the Navy’s Trident ballistic weapon submarines has been cut to help fund for a wall along the Mexican border, a decision decried by the state’s two Democratic senators and Congressman Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.

The $88.9 million piers and maintenance facility for Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor’s Maritime Force Protection Unit was among 127 military build projects declared by the Pentagon this week to lose funding. Rather, a sum of $3.6 billion will go to build about 175 miles of President Donald Trump’s border wall. 

“It is deeply disturbing to see the administration unilaterally raid funds from these vital projects in Washington and across the country to fund an ineffective, completely unnecessary border wall,” Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell told in a common statement with Kilmer. “Our men and women in uniform deserve better.”

The Coast Guard, through the Maritime Force Protection Unit, has been escorting and providing protection to the eight Trident ballistic missile submarines homeported at Bangor. Established in July 2007 at both Bangor and Kings Bay, Georgia — home of the other six ballistic missile subs — the units are based on the Navy though they comprise personnel and vessels from the Coast Guard. 

Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon comptroller, said the now-unfunded projects are not being canceled. Instead, the Pentagon is saying the military projects are being “deferred.” The Defense Department, however, has no guarantee from Congress that any of the money will be replaced.

Border Wall fund comes From Alaska Missile Interceptors

The Pentagon is diverting money for Ground-based Midcourse Defense missile interceptors in Alaska determined to protect the US against North Korean ballistic missiles to pay for President Trump’s border wall.

The $8 million allotted by Congress for the missile field at Fort Greely, Alaska, was set to add two missile interceptors as a substitute for when the existing 40 interceptors require to undergo renovation and maintenance. But due to the $3.6 billion the White House ordered the Pentagon to shift to border wall construction, the money will be stripped.

“The missile field at Fort Greely is actually incredibly important for us and our strategy,” a Pentagon official, who insisted on anonymity, told reporters. “We don’t see any result of the strategy or the work that’s going to be done at that silo through putting it on the list, or for a potential delay.”

Fort Greely already has 40 interceptors, and Congress has funded 20 more for the base in the coming years. The work on the new silos was set to begin in 2021, but till Congress sees fit to put the money back into a planned budget, the work has been taken off the books. 

Military Base Cuts for Border project Affect Schools and Target Ranges

Schools, target ranges and maintenance facilities are among $3.6 billion in military base projects to be cut by President Donald Trump to pay for 175 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, stoking the ire of Capitol Hill Democrats, who promise they won’t replace the money needed to revive the projects.

Projects in 23 states, 19 countries, and three U.S. territories would be stalled or killed by the move, though just $1.1 billion in cuts would strike the continental U.S., according to a list published Wednesday by the Pentagon. Almost $700 million would come from projects in U.S. territories, with another $1.8 billion coming from projects on overseas bases.

Trump’s move would take the biggest step yet in delivering on his longstanding promise to build a wall to block immigrants from entering the country illegally. But that may come at the expense of projects that the Pentagon acknowledged may be difficult to fund anew.

A senior defense official told reporters the Pentagon is having conversations with members of Congress to urge them to restore the funding. The official agreed that the department has “a lot of work ahead of us,” considering that Congress has given no guarantee it will provide money for the defunded projects. The official was not authorized to discuss the details publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, new stretches of fencing proposed along the Rio Grande and through a wildlife refuge in Arizona promise to ignite legal battles that could delay the wall projects as well.

Funding for this project has had many consequences. Many funds have been removed from major defense projects to finance the expansion and construction of the Mexican border wall. It may seem a little illogical to cut many influential projects for one purpose only.

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