Joe Biden signed an executive order during his first day in office that put a halt to new border wall construction. He froze the money for border wall construction projects and terminated Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern border. Steps are being taken now to further move the process along.
The Department of Defense announced Friday that the Biden administration has canceled further construction of the wall on the southern border. The photo above shows a gap in the border wall system in McAllen, Texas left as it is because of Biden’s order in January. The funding that Trump moved from the military budget is being sent back to the Pentagon. Military construction projects will receive the money instead of the border wall. A spokesman for the Pentagon presented the announcement as a matter of supporting the military.
“DoD has begun taking all necessary actions to cancel border barrier projects and to coordinate with interagency partners,” Pentagon spokesperson Jamal Brown said in a statement. “Today’s action reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families.”
The Biden administration doesn’t see the border wall as a means of “defending our nation” by protecting our country’s sovereignty. The border crisis is very much in emergency status yet in order to stop the construction, Biden had to terminate the national emergency declaration. Instead of repairing damage to the wall and to our country’s national security crisis, not to mention the public health crisis presented from the pandemic spreading from Mexico and Central America, the Biden administration announced its intention to repair “damage to border communities”.
“Consistent with the president’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” said Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon spokesman in a statement.“DoD has begun taking all necessary actions to cancel border barrier projects and to coordinate with interagency partners.”
Additionally, “unobligated military construction funds that had been diverted from military construction projects will be used for previously deferred military construction projects, allowing some of these critical efforts to move forward as soon as possible,” said the Defense Department. “The department is reviewing the deferred project list to determine funding prioritization” and is working with its interagency partners on steps needed at construction sites that are being impacted by the cancellations.
Additionally, DHS outlined how it will protect communities in the areas near the border wall from the previous administration’s construction. This includes repairing the Rio Grande Valley’s flood barrier system and remediating the “dangerous” soil erosion in San Diego. The department said explicitly for both initiatives, “this work will not involve expanding the border barrier.”
DHS will also finalize a plan soon with more measures to address damage in border communities.
In March, a group of 40 Republican senators asked the GAO to investigate if Biden’s halt of border construction and freezing the funds already approved for projects violates the Impoundment Control Act. The Impoundment Control Act “prevents the executive branch from withholding funds for policy reasons and outlines a process for seeking to delay funds appropriated by Congress.” The Republicans think it is a violation. The GAO accepted the request for an investigation. Apparently, the GAO began looking into this question in January and then accepted the request from the Republican senators in March.
Edda Emmanuelli Perez, GAO deputy general counsel, told the House Budget Committee on Thursday that the GAO now has a decision pending. She asked OMB and DHS for “factual and legal views” which are expected this week.
Joe Biden was interviewed on NBC Friday and blamed the Trump administration for the crisis on the southern border, which is a very interesting approach to take. He went on to blame the transition for inheriting “one god-awful mess at the border,” which was due to “the failure to have a real transition — cooperation from the last administration like every other administration has done.” He also claims that “We didn’t find out they had fired a whole lot of people, that they were understaffed considerably.”
The truth is that Joe Biden “inherited” a southern border not in crisis and agreements with Mexico and Northern Triangle countries to prevent any future crisis. Joe Biden promptly scratched all of that when he entered his office to prove he is the anti-Trump president. Trump’s policies were successful. Why would the administration over-staff the needs on the border? Trump was all about streamlining a bloated government bureaucracy. Was he expected to look into a crystal ball and predict the humanitarian and public health crisis that Joe Biden brought upon the border? Trump added to the Border Patrol and other law enforcement during his time in office.
The Trump transition team rejects Biden’s lame whining now.
While I respect the Presidency, this is a pure lie. The admin is looking for any reason to explain the crisis they created. We briefed the transition team numerous, numerous times. https://t.co/a5Egf1FYmp via @nbcnews
— Chad Wolf (@ChadFWolf) April 30, 2021
Many ICE career officials in a number of different units met with Biden transition staffers over the course of weeks. Not that it mattered, of course, since the Biden Admin has little interest in enforcing the nation's immigration laws. Biden is wrong. @craigmelvin @RebeccaShabad https://t.co/VK4UvXKxa7
— Jon Feere (@JonFeere) April 30, 2021
Nice try, Joe. The NBC News interviewer wasn’t willing to call Biden out for such nonsensical finger-pointing but the American people see what is happening. Biden was heard loud and clear as he boasted about signing executive order after executive order as he settled into the Oval Office. He was quite proud of himself to create the mess he now finds himself in. Record numbers of migrants are flooding the border. The expectation is that they will be allowed to enter the U.S. and stay, with no worries about consequences. Human trafficking and drug trafficking are up. Just last week a stash house in Houston made national news when 90 people were found crammed into that house. Biden can point the finger at himself.