Monday evening, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan authorized the commander of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing on up to $1 billion in support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol, according to a Pentagon statement.
The funds will be used to support DHS’s request to build 57 miles of new 18-foot-high anti-pedestrian border barriers, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border.
The authorization is in support of the February 15 national emergency declaration on the southern border of the United States.
Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee immediately objected to the announcement.
“We strongly object to both the substance of the funding transfer, and to the Department implementing the transfer without seeking the approval of the congressional defense committees and in violation of provisions in the defense appropriation itself,” the senators wrote. “As a result, we have serious concerns that the Department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military.”