Acting US defense secretary Patrick Shanahan to start reviewing and cutting military programs to source funding for Trump’s border wall

Sunday, February 17, 2019
By Paul Martin

Patrick Shanahan will begin reviewing military projects on Sunday to raise funds for Trump’s border wall
President Trump announced a national emergency on Friday amid a bitter stand-off with Congress
During the partial government shutdown, Trump had been holding out for $5.7 billion in funding – that could now rise to $8 billion
A large chunk of the funding will be sourced from military narcotics funding, and the military construction budget
Shanahan insists he has the final say on the transferal of funds, stating he has a ‘lot of discretion’

17 February 2019

As of Sunday, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says he will will start reviewing and cutting military programs to source potential funding for President Trump’s border wall.

Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in a bid to bypass any further congressional debate and immediately secure federal funds to accelerate the wall’s construction.

During A 35 day government shutdown, Democrats previously refused to acquiesce to the President’s $5.7 billion demand, but he’s now expect to reap as much as $8 billion in funding.

The administration has said that $2.5 billion of that amount will be sourced from military narcotics funding, and at least an additional $3.6 billion will be relinquished from the military construction budget.

Overseeing the defense treasury, officials say Shanahan will likely approve the figure.

But to reporters on Saturday, the former Boeing executive insists the ultimate decision rests with him, not the President.

‘I think I have a lot of discretion,’ said Shanahan, who took up the role on January 1 after General Mattis retired. ‘I’m not required to do anything.’

He added: ‘You can trust the numbers in terms of the potential. Then you gotta marry it up with where the money was spent.’

One area that won’t be taken be reviewed for cut-backs is military housing, Shanahan revealed.

The interim Defense Secretary must also determine whether the use of the armed forces is justified in relation to Trump’s border declaration.

‘There have been no determinations by me, so that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow,’ her said.

‘But I just want to make a point of this: we are following the law, using the rules, and we’re not bending the rules.’

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