GOP members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are demanding that the Biden administration stop selling off materials purchased to build the border wall, the New York Post reported. Republican lawmakers estimate that nearly $300 million in construction materials remain unused since President Joe Biden took office and halted construction.
Construction on the border wall has come to a standstill under Biden, who favors open borders instead of security. The Biden administration has begun auctioning these materials that were purchased under former President Donald Trump.
Since April, 81 lots of steel pieces meant for the border wall worth $2 million were sold off. Another 13 lots will be on the auction block on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30.
In response to this, Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee have called up Biden to stop the practice. "We are deeply disappointed to learn that rather than using construction materials that were purchased to secure the southwest border for that purpose, the Department of Defense has begun auctioning these materials off for other purposes," they wrote Tuesday in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Led by Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MI), the GOP members of the panel charge that the administration is in violation of the Finish It Act that was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2024. Instead of the sale, the materials should given to border states or simply used to complete the project.
Now the panel members demand Austin cease operations so they can assess the situation. The panel would like an inventory of what's being stored as well as information like how much storage fees have cost the Defense Department.
They have given Austin a deadline of Sept. 5 to comply. They have further threatened to delay the hearing for a new Under Secretary of Defense for Policy until their demands have been met.
The letter to Austin was undersigned by all 12 GOP members, including Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). "The Biden administration canceled border wall projects and left materials to rack up dust," Ernst told The Post.
"As I have worked to hold him accountable for wasting taxpayer-funded parts and use them to actually secure our border — President Biden is shamelessly auctioning them off for pennies on the dollar!" she charged. "This is a clear signal he does not take border security seriously," Ernst said of the president.
"President Biden cannot get away with subverting Congress’ work on this." This is more than a legal issue, with this happening during a time of record-breaking immigration.
In the fiscal year 2022, the Border Patrol reported 2.4 million encounters. This year brought 1.97 million encounters so far, with the fiscal year 2023 ending in October.
Even blue cities are beginning to admit that unchecked immigration is a problem. New York is constructing tent cities to deal with an immigration crisis that is adding to the difficulty of dealing with the existing homeless population, CBS News reported.
The governor of Massachusetts was forced to declare a state of emergency after several cities, including Boston, had been pushed to their breaking point with so many needy newcomers. Progressive cities like Chicago, Denver, and Sacramento are similarly at a loss as resources are stretched thin while the Biden administration allows more people in.
It's an insult to the citizens in these cities to watch the government sell off pieces of a border wall while the crisis continues. It's sending a signal that Biden doesn't care about stopping illegal immigration, and that's a problem.