Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Republican members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee have accused the Biden administration of wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars each week to store materials for a border wall the administration is committed to not building.
A group of 14 GOP senators, led by Armed Forces Committee ranking member Roger Wicker (R.-Miss.), wrote to the Department of Defense to inquire as to why some $130,000 per day were being used to store border-wall panels at more than a dozen facilities across the Southwest.
“The Department of Defense should not be incurring these daily charges but should be using these funds to bolster national security,” the letter reads. “In a highly dangerous security environment for the United States, every dollar Congress authorizes for the Department of Defense should be used effectively. This failing program clearly misses that standard.”
President Joe Biden long ago halted construction of the wall at the southern border, but the materials that would have been used to build the wall were already acquired under the presidency of Donald Trump.
This has created quite the conundrum for Biden, who wants to avoid completing the wall, but stands frequently accused of having no control over the southern border and faces requests to allow border states or entities to use the materials.
The proposition seems simple enough. Biden could either use or get rid of the materials. Indeed, the administration has the legal ability to sell the unused materials.
However, the administration has opted for a third approach — do nothing with the material and pay top dollar for the privilege. The border wall materials are stored on private property, the owners of which receive federal funds in exchange for the use of their space.
“[We] are disturbed to learn the Department of Defense is paying private landowners to store border wall materials procured under the Trump Administration instead of fortifying the southern border with those materials,” the Wicker-and-company letter reads.
The Biden administration has shown an absolute aversion to anything that can be construed as fostering the completion of Trump’s border wall. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre famously talked herself into a rhetorical pretzel when it was reported the Biden administration approved fixing holes and bridging gaps in the parts of the wall that were completed under Trump.
As such, the idea of selling border-wall panels has proven unappealing to the Biden administration, which no doubt fears that states would take the panels and construct the wall on their own.