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Pentagon: Biden plans to divert border wall money

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The Pentagon outlined plans for redirecting funds and repurposing contracts from former President Donald Trump's signature border wall project. (June 11)

Video Transcript

JOHN KIRBY: In accordance with President Biden's January 20th proclamation, the Department has developed a plan for redirecting funds and repurposing contracts that are connected with the border barrier construction. We announced, as you know, on April 30th, the cancellation of all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds that were originally designed and meant for other missions and functions.

So the Deputy Secretary today has approved a plan to use the $2.2 billion in unobligated military construction funds that were previously made available for border barrier construction to restore funding in this fiscal year for 66 projects in 16 countries, 11 states, and three territories.

Today, the Department is announcing a new $150 million package as part of the Ukraine security assistance initiative to help Ukraine's forces preserve their country's territorial integrity, and to improve interoperability with NATO. The package includes capabilities such as two counter artillery radars, some counter unmanned aerial systems, and secure communications. It will complement the $125 million package that we announced back in March. This package is made possible after the Department of Defense, in coordination with the State Department, was able to certify that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on defense reforms this year, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act.