President Donald Trump rejected a resolution of Congress that blocked his border emergency.
The Pentagon will spend up to $ 1 billion building 57 miles of fencing on the Mexican border, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said.
Shanahan authorized the Army Corps of Engineers commander to plan and build the 18 meter high fencing system, build and extend roads, and install lighting in Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas.
Shanahan said the efforts supported the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump made last month for the southern border. Trump issued the statement after Congress refused to provide the $ 5.7 billion it wanted to build the Wall.
Shanahan referred to the need to "block drug trafficking corridors across the international borders of the United States to support law enforcement drug control efforts."
A razor-covered border wall separates the United States from Mexico to the east of Nogales, Ariz. Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel) ORG XMIT: OTKCR (Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP)
Shanahan announced the plan late Monday, hours before the US house was planned Trump's veto of a Congress resolution that invalidated the urgency statement. The opponents of Trump's plan, however, did not seem to have the two-thirds majority needed to abrogate.
"Presidential veto will be maintained," Tweeted Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California. "We will #SecureTheBorder."
Trump's declaration of a national emergency for the construction of the wall allows him to tap into billions for military construction projects such as garages and air traffic control towers. The projects were approved by Congress, but no contracts have yet been signed for them.
Last week, Shanahan directed the Congress to list the construction projects that could delay the Pentagon, but not to divert funds to the wall. These projects included an air traffic control tower in Alabama.
Contribute: Tom Vanden Brook
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