Source: The Federalist, By Shawn Fleetwood, August 23, 203
Senate Republicans are demanding the Department of Defense (DOD) halt all sales of border wall materials after it was revealed the agency was auctioning off construction parts in an apparent attempt to skirt pending legislation that forces the agency to continue construction of the project.
“We are deeply disappointed to learn that rather than using construction materials that were purchased to secure the southwest border for that purpose, the Department of Defense has begun auctioning these materials off for other purposes,” GOP senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote in a letter sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday.
The issuance of the document comes days after the New York Post reported that the Biden administration has been “quietly auctioning off millions of dollars’ worth of unused parts from former President Trump’s border wall” for very small sums of money. According to the report, GovPlanet, “an online auction house specializing in military surplus,” has garnered roughly $2 million after selling dozens of steel tubes that were supposed to be utilized “as vertical bollards in the border barrier’s 30-foot-tall panels.”
“On Tuesday, GovPlanet netted $154,200 for 729 of the 28-foot-tall hollow beams, sold in five separate lots for an average $212 apiece,” the report reads. “Thirteen more lots are set to be auctioned on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30.”
The Post further noted how GovPlanet’s auctioning of wall parts “picked up markedly” in May after Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and his GOP Senate colleagues introduced the FINISH IT Act, a bill that, according to a press release issued by Wicker’s office, would require the DOD to “allow millions of dollars of unused border wall panels already owned by the U.S. government to be used to extend the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.” As noted in Senate Republicans’ letter to Austin, provisions of the legislation were incorporated into the House and Senate’s respective versions of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.
Notably, all profits made on the sold wall materials “flow back to the Pentagon’s budget” — a detail GovPlanet employees are reportedly “under strict instructions to keep … hush-hush,” according to the Post.
In addition to demanding the DOD shut down all sales of border wall parts, Senate Republicans are requesting Lloyd direct the DOD inspector general launch an investigation into Melissa Dalton, the assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, for allegedly failing to provide Congress “accurate and timely information” about the administration’s plans “regarding the use of these border wall construction materials.” The senators furthermore demanded the agency provide a “full account” of its sales of border wall parts and the costs to store said parts thus far by Sept. 5.
For a president that professes his alleged support for a “secure” U.S. southern border, the actions carried out by Biden’s administration say otherwise. In addition to auctioning off wall construction materials, the Biden administration has routinely advanced open border policies that have allowed millions of illegal aliens to enter America with relative ease.
In June 2021, for instance, the administration announced it would end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required illegal border crossers seeking asylum to stay in the Latin American country until their court hearing. The administration had also previously sought to eliminate Title 42, a health policy that allowed federal officials to expel illegal migrants with minimal processing.
Under Biden, attempted illegal border crossings have skyrocketed, forcing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to prioritize processing the lawbreakers over securing the border. In fiscal year 2022 alone, U.S. border officials reported a staggering 2.3 million apprehensions, compared to the 1.7 million reported in 2021. Such figures don’t even include the estimated 2.6 million “gotaways” who entered the U.S. without detection from CBP.
The illegal immigration crisis has gotten so bad that even Democrat-run states and municipalities that once declared themselves “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens are tacitly admitting Biden’s open border policies are making life unbearable for their respective residents.