The Pentagon has officially informed Congress that it's shifting up to $1 billion in appropriated funding to build a 57-mile fence and other projects at the southern U.S. border. The notice comes after President Trump took the rare step of declaring a national emergency to get more border security funding than Congress would allow.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan told the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to begin using the money to support operations by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol, the Department of Defense said.

The money nearly doubles the $1.3 billion Congress authorized for border wall funding. Trump had requested $5.7 billion.

Objecting to the Pentagon's plan, Democratic senators sent a letter to Shanahan stating that by transferring money without the appropriate congressional committees, the Defense Department had violated the defense appropriations bill.


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