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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.

  • The Pentagon list shows all of those projects have been delayed, along with 117 other military construction projects in the United States and its territories to cover $3.6 billion in costs for construction of fencing along the southern border.
  • The Washington Post notes that while the affected projects are classified by the Pentagon as "deferred," Congress would have to again agree to fund them.

The big picture: The Republican-led Senate has agreed to do so in its annual defense policy bill, but the Democratic-led House declined to do the same, per WashPost.

  • A possible compromise could be reached when the Senate and House make trades to meld 2 bills into 1 before seeking the president’s signature, WashPost notes.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union says it will file a motion to block the $3.6 billion from being used to fund the wall.

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

Go deeper

White House nominates Rick Spinrad as NOAA leader

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday evening nominated Rick Spinrad, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Why it matters: Filling the NOAA slot would complete the Biden administration's leadership on the climate and environment team. The agency, located within the Commerce Department, houses the National Weather Service and conducts much of the nation's climate science research.

3 hours ago - World

Israeli officials will object to restoration of Iran deal in D.C. visit

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for strategic talks on Iran to stress their objection to a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to refuse to discuss its contents, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: That position is similar to the one Israel took in the year before the 2015 nuclear deal was announced, which led to a rift between the Israeli government and the Obama administration. History could now repeat itself.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases aren't budging — even after vaccinations doubled— Health care workers feel stress, burnout more than a year into the pandemic — Handful of "breakthrough" COVID cases occurred in nursing homes, CDC says.
  2. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson's vaccine production problems look even bigger — All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Political: Watchdog says agency infighting increased health and safety risks at start of pandemic.
  4. World: EU regulator: Benefits of J&J vaccine outweigh risk of rare blood clots.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.