(TNS) Much to the chagrin of Democrats and open-borders advocates, President Donald Trump is planning to spend three times as much this year through 2022 on new border wall construction than last year, erecting hundreds of miles of barrier along the southwest border.
The Washington Post reported that the bulk of the money will once again come from unassigned military funding accounts, some of which was slated for base construction:
President Trump is preparing to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year, five times what Congress authorized him to spend on the project in the 2020 budget, according to internal planning figures obtained by The Washington Post.
The Pentagon funds would be extracted, for the second year in a row, from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding. According to the plans, the funding would give the government enough money to complete approximately 885 miles of new fencing by Spring 2022, far more than the 509 miles the administration has slated for the U.S. border with Mexico.
Trump took $2.5 billion from military counterdrug programs for border barrier construction in 2019, but this year his administration is planning to take significantly more — $3.5 billion. Trump administration officials also are planning to take $3.7 billion in military construction funding, slightly more than the $3.6 billion diverted in 2019.
Building a border wall was one of the president’s signature 2016 campaign promises, which he has regularly attempted to keep throughout his first term.
But just as frequently, the Left has thrown up one legal roadblock after another, cherry-picking friendly federal courts featuring Democrat judicial appointees who, in defiance of existing law and legal precedence, have hamstrung the president’s efforts.
It took nearly three years, but it seems as though Democrats are now running out of legal options, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in July that Trump has the authority to utilize unassigned military funding for border wall construction:
The AP reported:
The Supreme Court’s action reverses the decision of a trial court, which initially froze the funds in May, and an appeals court, which kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The freeze had prevented the government from tapping approximately $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to replace existing sections of barrier in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.
The case the Supreme Court ruled in began after the 35-day partial government shutdown that started in December of last year. Trump ended the shutdown in February after Congress gave him approximately $1.4 billion in border wall funding. But the amount was far less than the $5.7 billion he was seeking, and Trump then declared a national emergency to take cash from other government accounts to use to construct sections of wall.
Alexei Woltornist, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in a statement, “We are pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that the lower courts should not have halted construction of walls on the southern border. We will continue to vigorously defend the Administration’s efforts to protect our Nation.”
At the time, ACLU lawyer Dror Ladin said after the court’s announcement that the fight “is not over,” though it actually is over because there are no federal courts with higher authority than the Supreme Court.
It needs to be said, as well, that the border wall isn’t simply Trump being “racist.” We have a huge drug-smuggling problem into our country from Mexico as well; forcing smugglers to go through ports of entry dramatically reduces the inflow.
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