Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst has now introduced the BUILD IT Act in the Senate to allow border states to utilize unused federal materials to build the border wall.
The act allows use of already purchased materials to construct barriers along the southern border. States would need to certify that the materials were being used to build the border wall to gain access to them.
“We are witnessing a crisis of historic proportions at our Southern border under the Biden administration. President Biden’s refusal to take action at the border has been a disaster, but his decision to cancel border barrier projects that were already underway is literally costing taxpayers billions,” Ernst said in her statement about the new bill.
“Here’s a simple solution, Mr. President: let’s put these materials to use, let’s end the taxpayer-funded waste, let’s stop the unprecedented flow of illegal migrants, and let’s build it!” she continued.
According to a report put together by Republicans within the Government Operations and Border Management Subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the Biden administration’s efforts to suspend the border wall construction being done by the Defense Department has cost taxpayers between $1.8 billion to $2 billion so far. Currently, the administration is spending $3 million every day to not build the wall.
In April, there were over 234,000 migrant encounters. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last year his intent to fund the border wall in Texas with a $250 million down payment.
When speaking with reporters about it, Ernst said that “taxpayers have already paid $350 million for the concrete, steel, and fencing that is now sitting idle. Why not let states who want to build the wall access these unused materials?”
“That’s right folks, taxpayers are being billed to protect piles of rusting materials,” she continued.
Ernst is backed by elder statesman, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who said in a statement to the press on Tuesday: “President Biden has made a laundry list of irresponsible policy decisions that have led to complete chaos at our southern border, including his decision to halt construction of the border wall. This has not only cost taxpayers safety and security, but it’s also costing them nearly $3 million per day.”
“We are a welcoming nation, but a country without a border isn’t a country. Our bill will allow states to take an important step toward fixing this unprecedented border crisis by continuing construction of a border wall,” Grassley continued.
By the time of the publishing of this article, the bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Steve Daines (R-MT). It also has the backing of the Federation for American Immigration Reform or FAIR who praised Ernst for helping state governors that are “desperate to end the crisis.”
On Friday, Republican states won a legal battle for a preliminary injunction against Biden’s efforts to end the Title 42 public health order that allows the federal government to deport illegal immigrants because of the pandemic. The administration is appealing the decision.
Do you think Biden is doing enough to stop border crossings?