Feb 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

$3.83 billion from Pentagon budget to be diverted for Trump border wall

A section of the border wall

A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Photo: Jinitzail Hernández/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Department of Defense is rerouting $3.83 billion from its budget to fund President Trump's southern border wall, according to budget documents cited by the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The money is being pulled from other Pentagon budget items including aircraft, Army automobiles and miscellaneous equipment to fulfill Trump's campaign promise of a border barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. The reallocation is part of a larger effort to divert $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds this year for the project, per the Post.

  • The Pentagon reportedly told Congress that the earmarked funds either exceeded the military’s present needs or are not yet necessary given the schedule of the programs in question, the Post notes.
  • The Trump administration is diverting the billions of dollars without congressional approval. The same thing happened last year when the administration moved $6.1 billion from the Pentagon's budget for the border project.
  • The White House's 2021 budget request released on Monday included $2 billion in border wall funding.

What they're saying: Nine Democratic senators sent a letter on Thursday to Defense Secretary Mark Esper condemning the decision, according to Foreign Policy.

Go deeper: Illegal border crossings continue to fall as U.S. enforces asylum agreements

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