Representative Jason Smith (R-Mo.) is demanding that the Biden administration reveal the cost of not building former President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the nation’s southern border. Smith says taxpayers should know how much the cancellation of government contracts is costing them in litigation and settlement costs.
“President Biden’s decision to ignore the will of Congress by halting border wall construction is part of a broader failure by his administration to respond to the devastating circumstances at our southern border that are enriching violent cartels and undermining the safety and security of the America people,” Smith said in a statement. “The American people are picking up the tab for President Biden’s failed policies, and we intend to find out exactly how much this disastrous decision is costing hard working families.”
Smith says the Biden administration is “effectively undermin[ing] efforts to protect our southern border,” claiming that the Biden administration’s decisions have contributed to “historic levels of illegal migration to our southern border as well as a national security, humanitarian, and public health crisis.”
Smith’s statement comes after news emerged that Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to pause the Biden administration’s efforts to stop the border wall’s construction.
The motion claims that the federal government “did not provide the required NEPA environmental impact statements or environmental assessments” when Biden halted the border wall’s construction on his first day in office.
“These two actions, combined with the federal government’s lax immigration enforcement and loosening of border security, have led to an unprecedented number of migrants illegally crossing the southwest border,” Brnovich wrote.
“There is no doubt that the Biden Administration’s immigration policies are causing a humanitarian, public safety, and environmental crisis at our border,” he added. “I will do everything I can to stop their destructive actions and protect Arizona.”
Last year, The Texas Tribune conducted a review of federal spending data and found that modifications to contracts have increased the price of the border wall by billions.