Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved transferring $1.5 billion from Pentagon accounts Friday for barrier construction along the southern border, The Hill reported.
“Today we reprogrammed $1.5 billion toward the construction of more than 120 miles of border barrier without impacting readiness,” Shanahan said in a statement. “The funds were culled from a variety of sources, to include unexecuted prior year funds, the suspension of reimbursements to Pakistan, and costs reductions in a series of contracts.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee had earlier cast the move as harmful to troops.
“The Pentagon has now reprogrammed 12 times more money to the wall than for repairs at Tyndall AFB, destroyed by Hurricane Michael. We should put troops first!” Durbin tweeted.
The latest $1.5 billion transfer is in addition to $1 billion shifted in March from unspent Army recruiting accounts. Shanahan transferred those funds despite vocal Democratic opposition.
Army Corps of Engineers photo by David Palmer