In a letter, Defense Secretary Mark Esper alerted members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees of the plans to proceed with cutting military construction projects in lieu of the wall.
In all, he detailed 11 wall projects that would be completed as a result of the diversion of Pentagon funds. They include new pedestrian fencing and barriers in San Diego, Calif., replacement of vehicle barriers in El Paso, Texas, and new fencing at the border in Yuma, Ariz.
Congressional sources said the full list of cut military projects was slated to be released Wednesday after lawmakers were directly alerted of which ones were located in their districts.
Esper cites the national emergency that President Trump declared in February that required the use of armed forces for projects along the southwest border.
“Based on analysis and advice from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and input from the Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of the Interior and pursuant to the authority granted to me in Section 2808, I have determined that 11 military construction projects along the international border with Mexico, with an estimated total cost of $3.6 billion, are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency,” Esper states in a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash.
Democrats on Capitol Hill decried the move and argued that moving money from planned projects to border construction efforts could put U.S. forces at risk.