A report in the Military Times revealed that portions of the border wall between the United States and Mexico were put on hold early this week after the Army Corps of Engineers “determined that there are insufficient contract savings to undertake the three additional” projects.
The total original piece of construction was supposed to come in at 20 miles of fence, for the three combined areas, approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Aug. 26, per court documents reviewed by the Military Times.
To complicate matters, there are currently three lawsuits in progress over the $2.5 billion in DoD counter-drug funding that is being used on the projects.
However, when the total costs were tallied, the final totals didn’t come back within budget, so two planned segments in Yuma and one in Tuscon are now on hold for the foreseeable future.
“That $2.5 billion is meant to build more than 100 miles of border barriers through California, Arizona and New Mexico,” the Military Times reported.
This news comes just weeks after The defense secretary approved a border-wall spending plan that will divert funds from more than 100 military construction projects to dedicate $3.6 billion for constructing the wall.
The plan to allocate money for the border wall will garner funds from approximately 127 existing military projects, according to the Pentagon. It has not been made clear which projects will be affected.
The existing plans are being “deferred,” not canceled, said Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker. But it is clear that there is no guarantee that Congress will vote to replenish the now under-funded projects.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a letter to Congress announcing the spending plan that he “determined that 11 military construction projects along the international border with Mexico, with an estimated total cost of $3.6 billion, are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency.”
Written by Savannah Pointer.