WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The Pentagon on Friday (April 30) said it was cancelling the construction of parts of former president Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico that were being built using military funds, with all the unobligated money being returned to the military.
Trump declared a national emergency in 2019 in an effort to redirect funding to build a wall along the US southern border.
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation on Jan 20, his first day in office, ordering a freeze on border wall projects and directing a review of the legality of its funding and contracting methods.
“The Department of Defence 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,” Pentagon spokesman Jamal Brown said in a statement.
Brown said the returned funds would be used for deferred military construction projects.
It was not immediately clear how much would be returned to the military, but it was likely to be several billion dollars.
Trump’s diversion of funds from the Pentagon had been heavily criticised by lawmakers, who said it put national security at risk and circumvented congress.
In 2019 alone, the military said more than 120 US military construction projects would be adversely affected by Trump’s move.