WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (DPA / EP) –
The US Department of Defense has informed Congress on Thursday that President Donald Trump wants to divert funds from the Pentagon budget valued at $ 3.8 billion for the construction of the wall on the southern border with Mexico.
The object would be to use that money to deal with the construction of 285 kilometers, since the Department of Homeland Security “has identified areas along the southern border of the United States that are being used by individuals, groups and criminal organizations, such as drug traffickers, “said the Pentagon.
“It is necessary to build additional physical barriers and roads near the United States border,” the Department of Defense has insisted through a statement that has raised objections in Congress.
The lifting of a wall on the southern border has been one of Trump's great electoral promises in his 2016 campaign, although he always assured that it would be Mexico that would defray its cost. However, it is not the first time that the magnate intends to divert funds for other items, since last year he tried with funds for the construction of homes and military bases.
The president of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has criticized Trump's intentions and recalled that Congress “has voted repeatedly to reject the financing of the border wall”, as it is “ineffective” and a “waste”.
“This latest effort to steal military funds undermines our national security and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,” Pelosi continued through a joint statement with the leader of the Senate Democratic minority, Chuck Schumer.
Trump has not only found opposition in the Democratic Party, but also within his own party. The Republican representative of Texas, Mac Thornberry, has also immediately rejected the claims of the US president, since this “reprogramming is contrary to the constitutional authority of Congress.”
Congress has repeatedly sought to block these attempts by Trump to use funds destined for the Department of Defense, although the president has always defended his power when diverting resources if national security is in question.
For his part, the Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, has reported that Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved last month, after receiving a request from the Department of Homeland Security, an amount to finance 285 kilometers and not the almost 450 that the department intended.