127 projects are having their funding removed or suspended in order to increase funding for President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border. This is a major part of his plan that started in February when he declared the issue a “national emergency”.
These diverted projects are estimated to provide $3.6 billion to the fund, according to the defense department. All 127 projects appear to be military construction plans, both overseas and in the US.
What Are These Projects, Exactly?
The Defense Department has declined to comment on exactly which projects have been terminated or suspended. They claim that they don’t want to make anything public until lawmakers from affected areas are notified of the situation.
They did state that about 50% of the money is coming from overseas projects, while the remaining was being supplied from construction projects within the United States.
One project we do know about in the United States Military Academy at West Point, according to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Schumer took to Twitter this week when he was first notified of the changes.
He called it “a slap in the face” to those who are in the armed forces. He said Trump was “cannibalizing” already allocated military funding in order to “boost his own ego”.
Who Signed Off on This, Anyway?
Schumer isn’t wrong – it seems this move to take money from military projects is going against a lot of what he and the Republicans have been pushing recently, including a strong military presence.
Defense Secretary Mark T Esper appears to be the one that signed off on the decision after the New York Times got ahold of a letter he wrote to lawmakers earlier this week. In it, he identified the 11 projects that the $3.6 billion was earmarked for.
These include new construction as well as replacement of missing or damaged fencing along the border. Work is set to be in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The biggest stretch of land seeing “improvement” is a 52-mile section in Laredo, Texas.
It’s important to note that the phrasing in this letter doesn’t include the word “wall”. Instead, “pedestrian fencing” is used.
The only upside in the letter was that Esper promised none of the funding would come from barracks, dormitory, or family housing projects.