Pentagon cancels all contracts to build Trump’s border wall

The decision will stop any construction utilising money intended for the military

Graig Graziosi
Friday 30 April 2021 22:08
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US border wall under construction
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The Pentagon has cancelled all of Donald Trump's border wall contracts, according to the Biden administration.

"Consistent with the president's proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account," Deputy Pentagon Spokesperson Jamal Brown said in a statement.

The contracts being cancelled are any that used funding originally intended for use by the military and its functions.

Mr Brown said the move was reflective of the Pentagon's mission to provide for the military and military families.

"Today's action reflects this administration's continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families," he said.

It is not immediately clear if the change would halt all border projects, but it will stop any relying on Defense department funding.

Despite his repeated claims that Mexico would pay for the border wall, Mr Trump repeatedly leaned on US taxpayers to foot the bill for the construction, drawing from funds allocated to the Defense department for use by the military.

While those projects will pause, there are plans for the Biden administration to continue some work on the border; earlier this month the Department of Homeland Security announced it planned to repair damage to portions of the wall caused by floods and soil erosion in San Diego, and that it would finish installing surveillance technology in already completed sections of the barrier.

Mr Biden pledged he would not build "another foot" of the wall during his campaign.

Upon taking office, he paused all construction of the wall and commissioned a 60-day review to determine how military money was being used on its constructions.

The review extended beyond the 60 day deadline.

With the latest announcement, conditions at the border are in a state of flux. A Texas judge recently granted private land in Hidalgo County to the government for construction of the wall, and other land seizures had already been approved prior to Mr Biden taking office.

It is not immediately clear how the government will proceed with those acquisitions.

The Trump administration attempted to transfer $2.5bn from military construction projects and was taken to court over the allocation in 2020.

A federal appeals court ruled against Mr Trump, saying the administration had side-stepped Congress in allocating the funds without approval.

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