Trump administration officials are reportedly contemplating a plan to again redirect billions more in military funding to pay for wall construction at the U.S.-Mexico border next year, three administration officials told The Washington Post.
The officials reportedly said that senior officials talked about a plan to pressure lawmakers to reimburse $3.6 billion in Defense Department funds at a meeting last week led by presidential adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE.
The Post reported, citing officials, that the White House has requested $5 billion more for wall funding in 2020 from the Department of Homeland Security, but if that doesn't get approval, the administration will reportedly again take $3.6 billion from the Pentagon's construction budget.
A senior White House official told the Post that the discussion was “a typical project-management meeting where administration officials discussed border wall progress” and to make sure “additional needs were being assessed in the event more funding became available.”
The newspaper also obtained planning documents showing that it will cost an average of more than $36 million per mile to build 509 miles of barrier.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE in February declared a national emergency to divert military funds to the border wall project after Congress did not agree to levels of funding he requested. The action on the president's signature project has been challenged in court.
If the administration goes through with the reported plan, it will have reallocated a total of $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds over two years.