Pentagon halts border wall construction paid for with defense funds redirected by Trump administration

National News

Washington  — The Pentagon announced Friday that it would cancel all border wall construction projects paid for with Department of Defense (DOD) funds that the Trump administration redirected from military schools, training facilities and other projects. 

In early 2019, President Trump tapped defense dollars to finance additional border wall construction because Congress refused to fund it, creating a two-month-long impasse that led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. 

Now, the Biden administration is taking concrete steps to reverse that decision and redirect what is left of the ten-figure sum back into Pentagon projects. 

“Consistent with [President Joe Biden’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,” Deputy Pentagon spokesman Jamal Brown said in a statement, Friday. 

About 127 defense department projects were initially paused in September 2019 after Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed off on the White House request to use $3.6 billion in military construction funds, defense officials told CBS News at the time. 

A Biden administration official said border wall construction under the Trump administration has tied up “more than $14 billion in taxpayer funds.”  President Trump’s declaration of emergency at the border greenlighted the transfer of billions in building contracts through the Army Corps of Engineers. 

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