The Biden administration has returned to the Pentagon more than USD 2 billion in military funds that President Trump had diverted for border wall construction, denouncing the transfers away from the Defense Department as wasteful.
The funds will now be used for 66 military projects in 11 states, 3 US territories and 16 countries, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement issued on Friday.
"It also took attention away from genuine security challenges, like drug smuggling and human trafficking." During the Trump administration, the federal government built 52 miles of the wall along the US-Mexico border, according to the OMB, with some stretches of barrier costing as much as USD 46 million per mile.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is canceling 20 contracts for border wall construction, their commanding general Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon testified to Congress this week.
Recipients of the restored funds include two Marine battalions in North Carolina; an Air Guard marksmanship training program in Indiana; two missile interceptors in Fort Greely, Alaska and an elementary school for the children of US service members stationed in Germany.