According to Melissa Dalton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, the U.S. has been spending large amounts of money to pay for unused border wall material. This letter was signed by more than 12 Senate Republicans.
“Today, we write because it is disturbing to learn that the Department of Defense pays private landowners to store material for the border wall,” the GOP lawmakers stated in the letter.
“At the moment, more than 20,000 border wall sections (also known as bollard panel) lie unutilized at 20 project locations across southern Arizona, New Mexico. The Department of Defense spends $130,000 each day to secure, store, and maintain these materials. As the Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, you’ve allowed the Department to spend more than $47 million on these panels since you were sworn into office a year ago. This letter says that the Department of Defense should not be paying these daily fees but that it should use these funds to strengthen national security.”
According to Fox News, “Some of these materials” (security cameras, overhead lights and electrical and stormwater material) are being disposed in accordance to federal excess material disposal laws. “Overall, 61% non-bollard panels materials and 4% bollard panels materials were transferred to other government agencies, or disposed through the DLA disposal process. These materials are worth approximately $300 million. The government can’t finalize the cost of these materials until it has completed audits and reached agreements with contractors.
According to Fox News, the USACE informed Senate committee that the move to revoke all contracts is “still on-going” and will continue through 2024. According to the USACE, the non-bollard items will be “returned to DLA facilities by March 2023.” The USACE also reported that it is in communication with DLA about the more than 20,000 bollard panels. According to the outlet, “Contract terminations can’t be completed until all materials are properly disposed.”
Even though the nation’s southern border is being inundated by large numbers of migrants month after month, the huge amount of money spent on the unused material is a significant expenditure. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, there have been more than 1 million southwest border encounters in the five-month period from October 2022 to February 2023.
According to Fox News, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi stated that “It is astonishing to me that the Department of Defense pays $130,000 per day for nothing with $300,000,000 worth of border wall material.” This clear example of government waste hinders our mission to defend American citizens and American security. Biden seems to prefer spending money on the wall to protect Americans from cartels, as opposed to building it.