Politics Biden administration will return $2 billion to military projects that had been set aside for border wall construction
Biden RETURNS $2billion set aside for Trump's border wall
The Biden administration is returning $2 billion set aside for Donald Trump's signature border wall and calling on Congress to cancel other funding, despite a surge in people trying to cross illegally. President Joe Biden suspended construction when he took power but his new plan falls short of canceling it altogether.Instead, it ends fast track provisions.'Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds,' said the White House Office of Management and Budget (O.M.B).
The Biden administration is returning more than $2 billion to military projects that had previously been set aside for the construction of former President Donald Trump's, the White House Office of Management and Budget said Friday.
In one of his first actions in office, President Joe Bidenon wall construction and called for a review of projects and funds. Friday's announcement builds on the Biden administration's decision to cancel all contracts for wall construction on the US-Mexico border that used funds originally intended for military missions and functions.
Pentagon to redirect $2.2B in border wall funds back to military projects
The Pentagon will restore $2.2 billion to military construction projects that were stripped by the Trump administration to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Defense Department announced Friday. The money will go to 66 projects in 16 countries, 11 U.S. states and three U.S. territories in fiscal year 2021, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks wrote in a memorandum.Among those is $79 million for an elementary school for children of military personnel in Germany, $94 million for another such school in Japan, $50 million for a Marine Corps machine gun range in Guam, $10 million for a missile field expansion at Fort Greely, Alaska, as well as numerous other sc
The administration is now taking steps to send back billions' worth of funds to the Pentagon, so that they can be used for their initial purpose. That includes returning military construction funds to 66 previously deferred projects in 11 states, 3 territories, and 16 countries.
The move, according to the OMB, will restore funds for on-base schools, hangars, housing, and facilities, including more than $10 million for the missile field expansion at Fort Greely in Alaska and $79 million for an elementary school for US military children in Germany.
The Biden administration's decision to halt construction has attracted criticism from Republicans, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. During a Border Security Summit in Del Rio, Texas, Thursday, Abbott announced an initiative toalong the Texas-Mexico border.
Biden Returning Over $2B to Pentagon That Was Redirected to Build Border Wall
The Trump administration built about 450 miles of wall, moving quickly by waiving requirements for environmental reviews and mediation, though only about 52 miles were in areas where no barrier previously existed. Biden's decision to suspend construction prompted Republican senators to ask the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether the administration was violating federal law in not using appropriated money for its intended purpose.
Since 2019, more than 340 miles have been built in multiple locations along the border using Pentagon funds, according to US Customs and Border Protection. And roughly 52 miles were built where no barrier previously existed. Some wall segments cost up to $46 million per mile, according to OMB.
"Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds. Most contraband is likely to come through legal ports of entry. And many families fleeing the violence in Central America are voluntarily presenting themselves to border patrol officials," OMB said in its fact sheet, outlining the announcement.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of canceling 20 contracts for construction of the southern border wall, their commanding general testified to Congress this week.
Biden to route U.S. border wall funds to military and construction site clean up
Biden to route U.S. border wall funds to military and construction site clean upWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's administration will return more than $2 billion in funds allotted under his predecessor Donald Trump to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to the military and devote other remaining money to construction site clean up, the White House budget office said on Friday.
"We have 20 contracts that we've terminated for the government's convenience. And we're in negotiations now with each of those 20 vendors to work through what those final bills will be," Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon testified at a budget hearing with the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Development subcommittee.
The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, is using appropriated funds to address environmental issues stemming from the Trump administration's wall construction, as well as for construction clean up. The department is also reviewing the status of land seizure cases for wall construction, as well as land acquired in previous years, to assess whether those properties are still necessary. "If DHS determines it no longer requires the use of such land, it will work to return the land to its prior owners," according to OMB.
Biden's fiscal year 2022 budget included over $1 billion for border infrastructure, like technology, but no additional funding for border wall construction.
Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon .
WINDSOR, England (AP) — President Joe Biden and his aviator sunglasses met Queen Elizabeth II on bright Sunday afternoon. The queen hosted the president and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, her royal residence near London. Biden flew to London after wrapping up his participation in a three-day summit of leaders of the world's wealthy democracies in Cornwall, in southwestern England. He arrived at the castle aboard the presidential helicopter and was ferried to the queen in a black Range Rover.