The state of emergency imposed by former US President Donald Trump was ended in February. It allowed the construction to be financed by bypassing Congress.
US President Joe Biden canceled projects to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, which used funds originally allocated for defense. Now part of them will be used to combat environmental damage from the construction of the wall. Deputy Press Secretary of the Pentagon Jamal Brown announced this.
The 45th president, Donald Trump, imposed a state of emergency and used emergency powers, redirecting funds from the Pentagon funds, after Congress refused to fund the fence’s construction fully. Thus, he got about $10.5 billion, while lawmakers allocated only $4 billion for these needs. In February, Biden lifted his predecessor’s state of emergency over the border, which allowed funding for the wall to bypass Congress.
“In accordance with the presidential decree to stop redirecting funds for the construction of the wall on the border, funds will no longer be redirected from other purposes to the construction of the wall,” Brown said. “Today, the Ministry of Defense will begin to cancel all projects for the construction of the wall, in which the redirected funds were used, and will take steps to return the remaining unclaimed funds for military construction to their intended purpose under the law.”
This decision of the Washington administration caused sharp criticism of Republicans in Congress.
Children and the environment
At the same time, the Pentagon indicated that the funds would be returned to accounts that receive funding for “schools for children of military personnel, military construction projects abroad in partner countries,” as well as to the accounts of the US National Guard. The Ministry is working to prioritize these projects.
At the same time, part of the unspent amount of $1.4 billion previously allocated for the construction of the wall will be used to eliminate environmental damage from its construction. For example, to build dams and combat soil erosion in the southern United States.
Immediately after his inauguration, Biden suspended construction of the wall from conducting a 60-day review. This deadline has long passed, but it is still unknown whether this review has been completed. Last summer, Democrat Biden told reporters that he would not finish building a fence on the border with Mexico, the length of which exceeds 3.14 thousand km. Now, about 725 km of fencing has been built.