Last updated on April 23rd, 2019
On Tuesday, the Defense Department made a declaration of providing around $1 billion from military personnel fund for border wall funding. The wall-building project is expected to be completed by October 2020.
The allocated funds won’t affect the pay checks and benefits of the troops. However, it can sabotage the military budget of the country. Funds will be transferred from army personnel accounts into 284 counter-drug accounts that allow border wall funding.
A contract of $976 million is granted for the border wall funding to two organizations. A $789 million contract has been provided to SLSCO Ltd, a company in Texas, for building the wall in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, located in the El Paso sector of US-Mexico border. They will be responsible for “30-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate” construction.
The remaining contract of $187 million has been provided to Barnard Construction, situated in Montana. They will be responsible for the construction of the wall in Yuma, Arizona. Barnard construction will build “18-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate”.
Both the contracts are said to be distributed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
This is certainly the first funding to be transferred from military personnel funds. For future, the administration has already decided that they will provide an additional funding of $1.5 billion. That amount will be entirely different from the $3.6 billion of military construction funds that Trump administration seeks to procure after declaring a national emergency.
Earlier, the Trump administration sought to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget from $2.3 billion to $700 million to ensure smooth construction of the border wall.
This move has not been appreciated by many of the Congress members and senators. Congress has warned Trump administration that their ability to transfer funds will be disabled if they continue to use military funds for border wall funding. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s Senator, also expressed his disapproval with the transfer of funds to build the wall.
However, the Pentagon has claimed that the approval from Congress is not required to transfer the funds.
With all things considered, is the border wall really worth undermining the military budget? Funds that have been authorized to use for border wall funding could have been used to provide health insurance to 1.4 million US citizens, pay the salary of around 60,000 elementary school teachers of the country, or to minimize the substance use and suicides which have doubled in the last 17 years.
Resolving these issues can be considered more important than a border wall, which was promised during Trump’s 2016 campaign.