On February 16, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency. The decision came following intense partisan bickering over the issue of border security. Adamant to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump declared a national emergency despite largely bipartisan push-back.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, the president’s decision — which came following the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, and subsequent negotiations between the Democrats and the Republicans — is already being challenged in court. Liberal advocacy group Public Citizen filed on Friday what is thought to be the first of many lawsuits against the president.
While declaring a national emergency, clearly aware of both political and legal implications, President Trump casually said that such matters will be resolved at the Supreme Court.
The president is now looking to allocate funds from the military construction budget, but he may have run into a wall.
According to Reuters, even though a defense official anonymously said that the Pentagon was likely to approve $3.6 billion for the wall, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan refused to confirm the information.
As the news agency notes, Trump is free to use certain Department of Defense funding to build the wall, but the defense secretary is legally obliged to decide whether the issue is militarily necessary.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that no decision has been taken on funding President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico, a project that may come partly from redirected military funds https://t.co/8P2rQaF9ZB
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 17, 2019
During a press briefing on Saturday, Shanahan explained that the Pentagon has not made up its mind yet, stressing that the Department of Defense is well aware of the attention and the concern that allocating funds for Donald Trump’s border wall generates. The Pentagon has not made any decisions yet, Shanahan revealed.
“Very deliberately, we have not made any decisions, we have identified the steps we would take to make those decisions.”
The acting defense secretary added that he would start reviewing the initial analysis conducted by military planners on Sunday. The planners identified the different sources of money that Trump could use to build a border wall, but Shanahan said that he is “not required to do anything.”
While it remains unclear where the Department of Defense will take the money from — if it decides to do so — Shanahan said that no money will be taken away from military housing.
Recent media reports uncovered that some military housing is infested with mold, pests, and other health risks, so the acting defense secretary’s refusal to allocate funds from military housing comes as no surprise. Shanahan, he said, “received a number of letters” detailing the issue.
“As we step our way through the process we’ll use good judgment,” acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan concluded.