Financial officer Department of defense David Norquist said Wednesday lawmakers that on Tuesday evening from the accounts Department was transferred $1 billion of the Engineering corps of the army for the construction of the separation wall on the border with Mexico. We are talking about the first money toward the construction of the wall trump.
Acting Minister of defense Patrick Shanahan during a trip to Florida told reporters that the Pentagon is always planning to allocate the money, regardless of the perceived “consequences“:
“We follow the law. But there will be consequences, and I understand the position of the committees. However, I have orders from the commander in chief“.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on defense appropriations Congress Pete Visclosky, declined the offer of the Pentagon to transfer money.
He wrote Tuesday in a letter to Norquist, which was published the following day: “These unilateral actions, the historic and unprecedented politeness that existed between the Committee and the Department have been violated“.
Trump announced on 15 February a state of emergency on the southern border to get billions of dollars for the financing of the boundary wall. This step allows the President to use more powers and order the Pentagon to withdraw money from their accounts to build border barrier.
The administration plans to $6.1 billion from Pentagon accounts: $2.5 billion from programs for drug enforcement and $3.6 billion from the funds allocated for military construction.
The Pentagon can conduct money transfers, as it does not require congressional approval. But it violates the longstanding informal rule, when officials of the Ministry of defense to notify Congress in advance of such transfers, providing legislators the opportunity to approve or reject the request.
Now this tradition, allowing the Pentagon to reprogram funding has already been allocated for rapid response to threats and changes in the world, is under threat. The Chairman of the armed services Committee, Adam Smith told Shanahan during a panel hearing on Tuesday that the Pentagon is likely to lose the authority to reprogram if you make a transfer of funds.
Norquist, who spoke today before a budget Committee of Congress, said that the decision on the transfer of funds came from senior management.
Shanahan at the hearing on Tuesday acknowledged that officials are “aware of the fundamental shortcomings of the loss of the privilege to dispose of the funds, “but added that they will move forward under the leadership of the White house.
The Pentagon transferred to the Engineering corps $1 billion — the first payment on the wall trump updated: March 30, 2019 author: Alexander Brezhnev