U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to allocate more funds to the construction of a barrier on the Southern U.S. border without needing the approval of Congress. The federal U.S. budget
had so far only earmarked approximately US$1.4 billion for the construction of 55 miles of border fence. Over the weekend, more details transpired of where the extra money to fund Trump’s central campaign promise is supposed to come from. According to Vox
, the biggest chunk, US$3.6 billion, is to be reallocated from the Department of Defense budget for construction and military housing.
While the Department of Defense has approximately US$716 billion at its disposal for FY2019, construction and housing is a rather small budget item at US$10.5 billion
. Trump’s demand exceeds the annual budget for Air Force construction and all family housing construction for Army, Navy and Air Force personnel, as seen in the graphic. Taking away US$3.6 billion would also be equal to halting for a year all DOD construction in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia combined.
The White House said that another US$2.5 billion for wall construction should be taken from the military’s anti-narcotics funding and that US$600 million should come out of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, which is where money seized from criminal suspects is collected. The Pentagon has yet so sign off on the demands.