...President Trump is preparing to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year, five times what Congress authorized him to spend on the project in the 2020 budget, according to internal planning figures obtained by The Washington Post.The Pentagon funds would be extracted, for the second year in a row, from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding.
...Trump took $2.5 billion from military counterdrug programs for border barrier construction in 2019, but this year his administration is planning to take significantly more - $3.5 billion.
...Trump administration officials also are planning to take $3.7 billion in military construction funding, slightly more than the $3.6 billion diverted in 2019.The move would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion under Trump, who made the border barrier a priority during his campaign for the presidency in 2016.
...The federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled 2 to 1 last week that the plaintiffs suing the Trump administration to block the use of the military funds - El Paso County, Tex., and the Border Network for Human Rights, an activist group - probably lacked the legal standing to make the challenge.
...Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, celebrated the court's ruling in a statement, saying it had "Lifted an illegitimate nationwide injunction" and "In doing so has allowed vital border wall construction to move forward using military construction funds."
Submitted 5 days ago