A group of 40 Senate Republicans accused President Joe Biden on Wednesday of violating federal spending law when he ended funding for former President Donald Trump’s border wall.
Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), ranking member of that panel’s Homeland Security subcommittee, and 38 other GOP senators wrote to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The president’s executive order to end construction of the border wall took place on the day of Biden’s inauguration.
“In the weeks that followed, operational control of our southern border was compromised and a humanitarian and national security crisis has ensued,” the senators wrote. “The President’s actions directly contributed to this unfortunate, yet entirely avoidable, scenario.”
The last Homeland Security spending bill, signed into law in December 2020, provided almost $1.4 billion for the border wall.
Republican Senators argue Biden’s order served as a “blatant violation of federal law and infringe(s) on Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.” Their letter requested the GAO’s legal response regarding the issue.
The letter comes as the number of illegal immigrants along the nation’s southern border continues to surge. Nearly 100,000 individuals were detained in February.
Multiple sources reported on Wednesday that Border Patrol now has approximately 13,000 migrant children in custody. More than 4,200 were in Border Patrol facilities unfit for housing.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday, “We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”
Democrats argue a wall is not a solution, but something needs to happen. Biden’s growing border problems are quickly beginning to overshadow his plans to improve immigration reform.