Federal judge blocks Trump plan to spend $3.6 billion in military funds on border wall
16:45, Wednesday, 11 December, 2019
A federal judge in El Paso on Tuesday blocked the Trump administration’s plan to pay for border barrier construction with $3.6 billion in military funds, ruling that the administration does not have the authority to divert money appropriated by Congress for a different purpose.
The Trump administration was planning to use those funds to build 175 miles of steel barriers, and the court’s permanent injunction casts new doubt on Trump’s pledge to erect 450 linear miles of fencing by the end of next year.
District Court Judge David Briones, a Bill Clinton appointee, said in his ruling that the administration’s attempt to reprogram military construction funds by emergency proclamation was unlawful and that the plaintiffs in the case were entitled to a permanent injunction halting the government.
A ruling Briones issued in October placed a temporary hold on Trump’s plan to use the funds, but that decision did not have a nationwide scope.