A group of Republican senators reported the Biden Administration spent more than $2 billion to not build the U.S.-Mexico border wall sections contracted under the previous administration. The cost continues to rise by $3 million a day as contractors put projects on hold.
“President Biden is paying professional construction contractors to babysit metal to the tune of $2 billion and counting, while at the same time we’ve seen a 20-year high number of migrants crossing our open border,” said Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management. “It is absolutely absurd that Americans are paying contractors to guard metal gates that President Biden refuses to install because he wants to ‘study’ the wall.”
The report, released by the Senate Republicans on July 23, reports that DOD contractors who received $10 billion in January were forced by changes in border policy to spend $2 billion of those taxpayer funds to “watch steel rust in the desert.” The report adds that this money being wasted comes “directly from the DOD’s budget. “The Biden Administration’s continued waste of these funds poses risks to national security and border security,” the Republican lawmakers wrote in their report.
The investigation by the group of Republican senators says the initial cost of $6 million per day to not build the wall fell to about $3 million after contractors laid off construction workers. “This means that the federal government is paying contractors on these seven projects $3 million per day to drive out to project sites and guard the unused pallets of steel and other construction materials,” the senators wrote.
Fox News asked the Pentagon about the report. Spokesman Chris Mitchell responded that the Defense Department “will not comment publicly on matters that are in active litigation or settlement discussions.”
The Republican members of the committee concluded that the estimated costs of not building the wall “do not represent the full extent of waste by the Biden Administration, nor do they include the ongoing daily costs related to DOD’s suspension of projects funded by its 284 accounts. Given these caveats, President Biden is likely wasting significantly more taxpayer resources than estimated in this report on his efforts to stop building the border wall.”