UNITED STATES—The Pentagon informed Congress that they have authorized the transfer of $1 billion to construct 57 miles of “pedestrian fencing” along the U.S./Mexico border.
According to the United States Department of Defense webpage, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan, Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and David L. Norquist, Chief Financial Officer to the Department of Defense testified to the House Armed Services Committee on the fiscal year 2020 National Defense budget request in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, March 26.
Shanahan and Joint Chief of Staff Marine Corps. Gen. Joe Dunford appeared together before the committee to back the proposed budget of more than $718 billion for the military.
The proposed budget included money for the southwest border wall with $3.6 billion in funding military construction projects that will take place in 2020 rather than in 2019 to allow for the President’s Emergency Declaration projects of barrier border projects in 2019.
“Military construction on the border will not come at the expense of our people, our readiness or our modernization,” said Shanahan.
“I also want to emphasize: The funds requested for the border barrier amount to less than 1% of the National Defense top line,” he added. He noted that no barracks or military housing projects would be impacted.
The proposed “pedestrian fence” is 18 feet high and will be built first at the Yuma and El Paso sectors. Funding allows for the roads and proper lighting needed to prevent further smuggling of drugs and human trafficking.
President Trump tweeted, “Christmas came early this week” in response to the news released by the Pentagon.