- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2019

The Pentagon is expected to unveil the list of military construction programs department leaders will suspend in order to free up money for President Trump’s Mexico border wall.

In a memorandum to Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan called for the list of suspended construction programs to be submitted to his office no later than May 10.

“You are not to consider family housing, barracks or dormitory projects; projects that have already been awarded; or projects that have fiscal year 2019 award dates,” Mr. Shanahan said in the memo, first reported by the website Task and Purpose. The delayed programs should make available an estimated $3.6 billion that can be redirected to the wall.

“Your review should confirm that projects under consideration have award dates in fiscal year 2020 or later to minimize effects on readiness and to be consistent with the strategic approach in the National Defense Strategy,” Mr. Shanahan wrote.

While the list of suspended projects is due in May, the Pentagon has yet to decide on repurposing the billions saved from its construction accounts into the border wall. Further, Mr. Shanahan directed Ms. McCusker to single out the “pool of unawarded military construction projects” that could also be siphoned off to the border wall.

The Pentagon is already poised to send hundreds more American troops to the southern border, in the wake of the Trump administration’s announcement of a national emergency in February. The current 5,000-troop force will expand to roughly 6,000 by March, the Defense Department confirmed last month.

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