Administration diverts $261 million from Mobile’s Austal to fund border wall

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The USS Independence manufactured at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

Mobile, Ala.’s Austal USA is losing hundreds of millions in military funding as the Trump administration shifts funds to finance the construction of the president’s long-promised border wall with Mexico.

Unable to secure the funds through a bipartisan, Congressional appropriation the Trump adminstration announced Thursday it would instead transfer $3.8 billion from existing military accounts to fund the border wall. That includes $261 million set aside for U.S. Navy shipbuilding at Austal USA.

Alabama-Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby said the president was left with “little choice” but to find the funds this way.

“First and foremost, I support the President’s efforts to build the wall. My strong preference is to do so through a direct appropriation, but Democrats have refused,” Shelby told NBC 15. “While I am disappointed that the Department of Defense intends to target important priorities such as the Expeditionary Fast Transport, the Democrats left the President little choice in finding the funds necessary to build the wall. Ultimately, building the wall and providing for our national defense should be our highest priorities.”