- Following President Joe Biden's proclamation ending the emergency redirection of funds to border wall construction, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense have announced plans to return redirected funds to their original projects. President Donald Trump's administration had diverted billions in funding from military projects in September 2019 to help fund the wall.
- DHS and DOD are canceling wall projects funded with diverted military construction funds; returning those funds to their original appropriated purposes; ending wall expansion; and addressing safety and environmental issues resulting from border wall construction, according to the White House release.
- The change accounts for nearly $2.2 billion in redirected unobligated funds to their original sources domestically and abroad, according to the DOD.
The Trump administration had planned to spend over $15 billion on wall construction, and diverted more than $10 billion of those funds from military projects, DHS said in a release. In addition, DHS is working to repair projects causing environmental issues resulting from the border wall construction. Soil erosion in San Diego and breaches in the Rio Grande Valley levee system in Hidalgo County, Texas, were the two major concerns DHS first addressed in May.
The environmental concerns, however, could have been caused in part by the rapid abandonment of construction projects, as ills that may have been repaired while work continued were instead left when workers returned home, Newsweek reported.
The DOD outlined the projects that will receive the redirected funds. They encompass $1.3 billion in overseas projects, $608 million for projects in U.S. territories and $299 million redirected to state projects. Here is a breakdown of projects being directed toward states:
|Alaska||MDA||Missile Field #1 Expansion||$10 million|
|Florida||Air Force||Fire/Crash Rescue Station||$25.8 million|
|Indiana||Air Guard||Construct Small Arms Range||$9.4 million|
|Maryland||Army||Cantonment Area Roads||$26 million|
|North Carolina||USMC||2nd Radio BN Complex, Phase 2||$25.7 million|
|South Carolina||USM||Laurel Bay Fire Station Replacement||$10.8 million|
|Texas||Air Force||Camp Bullis Dining Facility||$22 million|
|Utah||Air Force||Composite Aircraft Antenna Calibration Facility||$24 million|
|Virginia||Navy||Ships Maintenance Facility||$26.1 million|
|Washington||Navy||Pier and Maintenance Facility||$89 million|
|Wisconsin||Air Guard||Construct Small Arms Range||$10.5 million|
|Unspecified||Army||Defense Access Roads||$20 million|
Despite funds returning to their previously intended projects, the fight to build the border wall is far from over. As Republicans continue to push for funding, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to expand the wall along his state's southern border.
Whether or not Abbott can secure the funds, or if he has the authority to build the wall, remains unclear.