Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Pentagon notified Congress Monday it had authorized up to $1 billion in funding to go toward building President Trump's wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

The details: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to plan and build 57 miles of 18-foot-high fencing in Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas, the Associated Press reports.

The backdrop: Trump declared a national emergency in February to push wall funding through, but 12 Republican senators voted against it. Trump made it clear before the vote he planned to veto the bill.

The big picture: The House was due to vote to override President Trump's veto Tuesday. However, the transfer to the Defense Department that Shanahan authorized was made without using the president's declaration, according to The New York Times.

Go deeper: Billions from military projects could fund Trump's border wall

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

5 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.