Oklahoma | July 22, 2021
Oklahoma | July 22, 2021
Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, today released a blistering report on $2 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars to pay Department of Defense (DOD) contractors not to build the border wall while more than 180,000 migrants attempted to cross our southern border in June alone. On January 20, President Biden issued Presidential Proclamation 10142, which terminated the federally declared emergency at the southern border and halted the construction of the congressionally funded border wall, citing the need to “assess” the wall’s construction, an action Lankford immediately opposed. Lankford’s report identifies the “termination and cancellation” costs still being accrued daily on the contracts to build the border wall that are ongoing but not being fulfilled.
“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,” said Lankford. “Stubbornly refusing to spend money approved for the wall is not ‘executing’ the law. It’s ignoring the law and ignoring the very real national security concerns posed by illegal entry across our very open southern border. For years I have called out federal waste, but the Biden Administration is literally ‘going for broke’ with this nonsense. Our border patrol agents are doing their best to secure our border, but they need additional barriers, roads, and technology to help keep us safe. Instead, 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.”
In January 2021, DOD contractors in charge of overseeing wall construction along the southern border received $10 billion in taxpayer money, which had been obligated toward wall-related projects. By the end of June, the Biden Administration has wasted roughly 20 percent ($2 billion) of the $10 billion meant to build the wall to pay contractors to watch steel rust in the desert.
For the time period immediately following Presidential Proclamation 10142, in which President Biden halted construction of the border wall to “study” it, Lankford’s office found that DOD contractors were reportedly being paid $6 million per day—to not construct the wall they were hired to build. Now taxpayers are paying contractors on just seven project sites $3 million per day, after numerous layoffs, to sit and watch the steel bake in the sun. To make matters worse, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not provided information to Congress about the status of border wall projects funded by congressional appropriations….
(Excerpts from the U.S. Senator James Lankford)