We're still fooling around with the wall?

Delilah66

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. According to the plans, the funding would give the government enough money to complete approximately 885 miles of new fencing by Spring 2022, far more than the 509 miles the administration has slated for the U.S. border with Mexico.

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. He also pledged to make Mexico pay for the barrier, delighting crowds at his rallies.

The Trump administration has completed 101 miles of new barriers so far, according to the latest figures, far less than the 450 miles the president has promised to erect by the end of the year. But construction along the border — largely on land the federal government already owns — has been continuing even as legal challenges have aimed to disrupt it.

A federal district court in El Paso ruled last month that the White House broke the law when it commandeered funds for the border wall that had been authorized by Congress for another purpose. The court froze $3.6 billion the administration budgeted for new barriers.

But the Trump administration appealed that ruling, and last week the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans lifted the injunction, saying work could proceed while legal challenges to the government are pending.

The president and his administration viewed that ruling as additional encouragement to take the money again this year, according to administration officials familiar with the plans.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment Monday, and a Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment.

Jared Kushner, whose father-in-law has placed him in charge of the border wall project, had discussions last summer with top military officials about once more siphoning money from the Pentagon budget to construct the barriers. But those plans were on hold because of the legal challenges to the maneuver.

Several dozen Pentagon construction projects were delayed or suspended as a result of last year’s reprogramming of $3.6 billion, including road repairs, a waste treatment plant and school construction projects on military bases. It’s unclear if those project will be delayed again, or if a different set of repairs and improvements could be postponed.

The White House asked Congress for $5 billion for 2020 border barrier construction, and Trump’s demand led to the 35-day government shutdown a year ago. The shutdown ended with Democrats agreeing to provide just $1.4 billion in taxpayer funding and the White House turning to military budgets to obtain billions more.Congress authorized nearly $700 billion in defense spending for 2020, a slight increase over last year’s levels.

The federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled 2-1 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 — likely lacked the legal standing to make the challenge.

The decision came six months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a similar ruling lifting an injunction from a federal court judge in California that temporarily blocked the administration's first attempt to reprogram military funds.

The 5th Circuit panel said the administration would be entitled to the same relief granted by the Supreme Court in that decision.

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.”

“This is a victory for the rule of law,” Grisham’s statement said. “We are committed to keeping our borders secure, and we will finish the wall.”

Homeland Security officials have repeatedly moved the goal posts to scale back Trump’s ambitious construction targets, bringing criticism that they have not worked fast enough to deliver on the president’s signature promise.

During an event at the border in Yuma, Ariz., last week marking the completion of the 100th mile of barrier, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the administration has not fallen behind.

“I can tell you that we remain confident that we are on track to 400, 450 miles that are either completed or under construction by the end of 2020,” Wolf told reporters.

It was the first time an administration official had counted barriers “under construction” toward the president’s pledge to complete 450 miles by Election Day.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-planning-to-divert-additional-72-billion-in-pentagon-funds-for-border-wall/2020/01/13/59080a3a-363d-11ea-bb7b-265f4554af6d_story.html

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Comments (34)
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Iris GW

During an event at the border in Yuma, Ariz., last week marking the completion of the 100th mile of barrier, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the administration has not fallen behind.

I heard they had done 100 miles so far ... 90 of it just re-do construction, only 10 of it new.

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margaritadina

Yes, Trump is building the wall. He promised to build it during his presidential campaign and he is keeping his promise. Is that what you asked?

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steve2416

Just an expensive joke.

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loonlakelaborcamp(3 A/B)

No fooling around, it is going up.

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Ziemia(6a)

10 miles?

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Joaniepoanie

When’s the moat going in?

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queenmargo


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catkinZ8a

100 miles!



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Kitchenwitch111

The wall is a simple solution for simple minds. Is there a new caravan coming? Lol

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lurker111

The wall is a simple solution.

I agree.

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Kitchenwitch111

Yeah OK

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lurker111

It beats the crats lame "catch and release" joke. They must be invested in the ankle bracelet business.

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Iris GW

Yep, only 10 miles.

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lurker111

Yep, only 10 miles.

The crats can run on that.

"Due to our anti-America agenda, we have obstructed as much of the wall as we could. Only 100 miles have been built. Illegal aliens are our cause."

Do it. :^)

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adoptedbyhounds

"The wall is a simple solution for simple minds. Is there a new caravan coming? Lol"

LOL! The "smart minds" are working way too hard to convince the "simple minds" that barriers don't work.

What's so funny about a new caravan coming? Don't you know those people are fleeing for their lives???

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vgkg (Va Z-7)

Yes, Trump is building the wall. He promised to build it during his presidential campaign and he is keeping his promise.

He also promised that Mexico would pay for building the wall, a finer detail of which the promise keeper would rather forget.

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adoptedbyhounds

"He also promised that Mexico would pay for building the wall, a finer detail of which the promise keeper would rather forget."

Nonsense. If you had visions of Trump collecting a check from Mexico in order to proceed, you will continue with that narrow view of what "making Mexico pay" looks like. If you can see value in Mexico helping with our "stay in Mexico" policy, you're starting to catch on. If you see value in Mexico offering jobs to asylum seekers in Mexico, you're getting closer. If you can see value to the US of mutually beneficial trade agreements, you're getting a clearer picture. When you understand that the US has multiple tools at its disposal in pursuit of the wall, and a president who is willing to use them, you will understand that slow progress and no progress are two very different things. Underestimating Donald Trump is never a good idea.

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Stan Areted

adoptedbyhounds, that's what we all knew President Trump meant.

Simpler minds did not comprehend such.

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katrina_ellen

Yes people still care about legal immigration, at least the Republicans, we know what the left supports.

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queenmargo

Believe me, I have a simpler mind, and I even comprehended that Mexico would not hand over a check. lol.

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Iris GW

If you had visions of Trump collecting a check from Mexico in order to proceed, you will continue with that narrow view of what "making Mexico pay" looks like.

Oh, I guarantee you, there are maga supporters who literally expected cash to be send over.

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paprikash

No one I know of, Iris, but perhaps you travel in a different circle.

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Iris GW

Apparently so.

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Kitchenwitch111

OK so now they knew all along that Trump didn't mean that Mexico would actually pay for the wall. They chanted it at every rally but again, there's that Trump language that only his supporters understand. Every else in the world sees a lying conman, but they see a stable genius.

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vgkg (Va Z-7)

Nonsense. If you had visions of Trump collecting a check from Mexico in order to proceed

Who Will Pay For The Wall? Mexico!!!

Must have been shouted to the roofs over 100 times during 2016. Quite a Chant, it's up there with "Lock Her Up", which also did not occur as promised. Your definition of "Pay" is as bad as a bounced check.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

Oh, he said it. It was his rallying cry. Now they are saying he didn't really mean it. So, was he lying then or is he lying now?

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Kathy

Trump shouldn’t be bragging how much he spent improving the military when he used it to build the wall. I hope everyone who contributed to the fake wall fund got their money back. Talk about gullible.

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Chi

Oh, he said it. It was his rallying cry. Now they are saying he didn't really mean it. So, was he lying then or is he lying now?

It's doubling down on yet another failed campaign promise. He had 2 years with both the House and the Senate at his disposal, didn't do anything to build a wall until suddenly midterms loomed and it became a Big Problem. It was a giant political stunt that backfired spectacularly as the Dems won the House and now he's joined the exclusive impeached President club, and the only member to be impeached in his very first term.

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chipotle

I'd like to know where all that money is actually going.

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Delilah66

Ahh, chipotle, finally someone got my point!

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Ziemia(6a)

Again, ignoring a whole lot of facts.

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elvis

Your definition of "Pay" is as bad as a bounced check.

That was harsh, "Mark". ABH explained this in very simple terms. Maybe if you take your time to read slowly:

If you had visions of Trump collecting a check from Mexico in order to proceed, you will continue with that narrow view of what "making Mexico pay" looks like. If you can see value in Mexico helping with our "stay in Mexico" policy, you're starting to catch on. If you see value in Mexico offering jobs to asylum seekers in Mexico, you're getting closer. If you can see value to the US of mutually beneficial trade agreements, you're getting a clearer picture.

There now, Better, I hope?

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adoptedbyhounds

"Oh, I guarantee you, there are maga supporters who literally expected cash to be send over."

Could be. However, they're not the ones doing the whining.

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vgkg (Va Z-7)

So y'all think that Trump never said that Mexico would actually pay for the wall? Yes he did, pick your source if you don't like the one below, . Of course after the election he changes his tune just like he did with releasing his taxes. You Trump supporters have always changed with Trump's wind sock so that's to be expected.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/10/fact-check-trump-mexico-pay-indirectly/2535573002/


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