Sep 3, 2019

Pentagon halts 127 projects to fund $3.6 billion of Trump's border wall

Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, California, March 13, 2018. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized the Pentagon on Tuesday to allocate $3.6 billion toward 11 military construction projects for President Trump's border wall, CNN reports.

The big picture: Trump is getting all the Pentagon funding that he sought — about $3.6 billion from the department's military construction fund — from declaring a national emergency over the border crisis in February. In July, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump's reprogramming of Pentagon funds for the border wall is permissible. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller Elaine McCusker expects construction at the border to start in about 135 days, per CNN.

The other side: The ACLU said on Tuesday that it will file a motion to block the $3.6 billion from being used. The motion would fall under the Sierra Club v. Trump case put forward by the ACLU in February against the president's emergency powers declaration, but would be a "separate and entirely new motion," per ACLU spokesperson Abdullah Hasan.

Read Esper's letter:

Go deeper: Not a single mile of border wall has been built where fencing did not exist before

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$400M in Puerto Rico recovery projects deferred over Trump border wall

Construction along the southern border in Calexico, California, in August. Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Pentagon is deferring $400 million in Hurricane Maria recovery projects in Puerto Rico so the funds can instead go toward construction of President Trump's border wall, a Defense Department list published Wednesday shows.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico declared bankruptcy in 2017 amid "the biggest government financial collapse in United States history," and it's still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. The funding had been allocated for 10 military construction projects in the U.S. territory.

Go deeperArrowSep 5, 2019

Trump's plan to use Air Force funds for border wall poses national security risks

Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's plan to redirect funds from 51 U.S. Air Force construction projects for the southern border wall presents a variety of national security risks for U.S. armed forces, according to a report composed by the Air Force that NBC News obtained.

Why it matters: The diversion of resources delays many of those military projects, increasing vulnerabilities both domestically and abroad. There is no assurance the money will be automatically replenished, according anonymous officials, and funding for these projects could be set back by a year or more, reports NBC.

Go deeperArrowSep 13, 2019

Pentagon halts 3 planned border projects over lack of funding

A Customs and Border Protection helicopter flies over the U.S.-Mexico border wall on April 5 in Mexicali, Mexico. Photo: Luis Boza/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

The Defense Department halted 3 planned "border barrier" construction projects on Sept. 13 after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) determined there were insufficient savings to move forward, per a court filing obtained by Politico this week.

The big picture: The USACE overestimated how much money would be available for these projects after the Pentagon redirected $2.5 billion in July for border wall construction. These projects would have been funded with money "left over" from the $2.5 billion, per Politico.

Go deeperArrowSep 18, 2019