The Defense Department is canceling all contracts for wall construction on the US-Mexico border that used funds originally intended for military. The prior Trump administration dipped into Pentagon funds to build additional border barriers. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at the time. Since 2019, more than 340 miles have been built in multiple locations along the border using Pentagon funds. In one of his first actions in office, President Joe Biden ordered a pause on wall construction and called for a review of projects and funds. Now, billions’ worth of funds will be send back to the Pentagon, so that they can be used for their initial purpose. “Consistent with the President’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” said Jamal Brown, deputy pentagon spokesman, in a statement.
In a statement, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., chair of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, also criticized the Trump administration’s diversion of funds, saying, “No president should be allowed to circumvent the Constitutionally defined power of the purse that was bestowed upon Congress. the Department of Homeland Security announced it would begin repairing damage the border wall construction caused to the Rio Grande Valley’s flood barrier system and soil erosion in San Diego.