DoD deputy secretary visits with Valley border officials
WESLACO – The Department of Defense deputy secretary was in the Rio Grande Valley on Monday checking on border wall construction projects. The visit comes less than two weeks after the Pentagon announced it would pump billions of dollars into building those projects.
Deputy Secretary David Norquist arrived to the Valley, along with a member of Congress. Shortly after arriving, a quick press conference was held with local media.
The trip around the Valley included trips to the border to see the construction of concrete walls and additional bollard fencing, such as the one in Donna.
About two weeks ago, the DoD announced it would be taking more than $3.5 billion and funneling it to the Department of Homeland Security for border fencing construction.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS asked Norquist about how the department is balancing its budget with the reallocation of those funds.
Norquist responded, “We tried to focus on things that were either in excess of our requirements or we're early to need. So there are cases, for example, where we received funding for something that we wouldn't actually need to spend for another year or two. So, we tried to prioritize those in order to minimize the disruption on national security.”
The decision will mean 127 military construction projects, domestic and overseas, will be deferred. The money will be used to fund 11 border barrier military construction projects.