Thus far on the border between the USA and Mexico, over four hundred miles of border barrier, or wall, has either been replaced or put in place. As of this week, the effort to seal off the unofficial checkpoints along the rest of the border will be stepped up. Using funding from the Department of Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers will be awarding contracts to builders to help them complete the project as quickly as possible.
The officials tell CNN that the first US Army Corps of Engineers contracts to support the wall’s construction should be signed this week, with one official saying it could happen as early as Tuesday.
The contracts are to support work at the two sections of the proposed wall that Defense Department officials surveyed late last month, in Yuma, Arizona, and the New Mexico part of the El Paso sector, which also includes Texas.
A spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers told CNN last month that the plan was to install 11 miles of fencing at Yuma and 46 miles at El Paso.
Since Democrats in the House of Representatives keep bleating on that they will not provide funding for the wall under this president (they did do so under previous presidents and it was used for other projects), Americans might be wondering just where the funding is coming from for this effort.
The funds for the contracts are to come from the $1 billion that was recently reprogrammed from Army personnel accounts into the 284 counter-drug account that authorizes border barrier construction.
That reprogramming has been opposed by some lawmakers in Congress, but the Pentagon has said it does not need congressional approval to shift the funds.
As a consequence of the move, Congress has threatened to strip the Pentagon of its ability to transfer funds in the future.
Good luck with that, Congress.
Since security at the southern border is rightly being called a national security issue at this time in history, the Department of Defense is dealing with the border wall building, not the Department of Homeland Security. And since President Donald Trump is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, it is being done whether Congress likes it or not.
Interesting that it has to be this way.