DOD is spending around $130,000 a day to store materials after Biden canceled Trump’s border wall construction project
EXCLUSIVE: The Biden administration spends about $130,000 per day to store and maintain unused border wall panels at the southern border, and Senate Republicans are demanding answers.
Republican members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee — using details provided to them in a request for information to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) — sent a letter Wednesday evening to the Defense Department asking why nearly $50 million is being spent each year to store the Trump-era border materials.
Led by ranking member Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and signed by Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, along with nearly every other Republican on the committee, the senators wrote that they “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.”
“At present, over 20,000 border wall sections, otherwise known as bollard panels, lie unused at 20 project sites across southern Arizona and New Mexico,” the senators said in the letter addressed to Melissa Dalton, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs. “Every day, the Department of Defense pays $130,000 to store, maintain, and secure these materials. Since you were sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs a year ago, you have allowed the Department to pay over $47 million to store these panels. The Department of Defense should not be incurring these daily charges but should be using these funds to bolster national security.”
“This failing program clearly misses that standard,” the senators added.
In its correspondence with the committee, the USACE confirmed the cancelation of the border wall contracts by President Biden’s administration in 2021 “left a variety of excess materials” and the “total costs to store, maintain, and secure all the materials across all sites is estimated to be approximately $130,000 per day.”
By Kyle Morris