Biden is returning almost $2 billion to the Pentagon that was diverted to the construction of a border wall.
According to the Associated Press, the Biden administration announced Friday that $2 billion in money for former President Donald Trump’s border wall will be returned to the Pentagon.
The Office of Management and Budget said in a statement that “building a gigantic wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is neither a credible policy solution nor a prudent use of federal funding.”
The new plan does not terminate the project, and Republicans eager to promote a strategy similar to Trump’s are likely to oppose it in Congress.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
When President Joe Biden took office, he put the wall on hold while his government examined the project. That enraged Republicans in Congress, who were eager to see it move forward in the face of an upsurge in migrant arrests along the southwest border.
Biden intends to return more than $2 billion diverted from the Pentagon to help pay for the wall, as well as use other funds given by Congress to solve the project’s “critical life, safety, and environmental issues.” It also asks lawmakers not to grant any further funds for the initiative, which the Biden team believes is pointless.
For decades, the government has constructed walls and other barriers along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) US-Mexico border to eliminate some of the more convenient ways to circumvent checkpoints. Trump has made the issue a focal point of his political identity.
Trump promised to build a “virtually impenetrable” wall and that Mexico would pay for it, but that never happened. Instead, through a mix of congressional appropriations and money taken from the Pentagon and other sectors of the government, his administration set aside nearly $15 billion.
The Trump administration constructed around 450 miles (725 kilometers) of wall, moving swiftly by waiving environmental evaluations other mediation requirements, but only about 52 miles (84 kilometers) were in regions where there was no barrier previously.
Following Biden’s decision to halt construction, Republican senators asked the Government Accountability Office to look into whether the administration was breaking the law by failing to use approved funds for their intended purpose.
The administration stated on Friday that it will spend monies already set aside by Congress for “their designated purpose, as required by law,” but it isn’t sure what that means. This is a condensed version of the information.