Biden has defended his administration’s decision to waive 26 federal laws in South Texas to allow for construction of roughly 20 miles of additional border wall, saying he had no choice but to use the Trump-era funding for the barrier to stop illegal migration from Mexico.
Sadly, he can’t use the Trump-era materials which were bought prior to the supply-chain issues, the inflation of commodity prices, and the rise in the price of gas and labor.
Why not? Because he just got over selling them off cheap in a DoD fire sale.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) spokesperson told Newsweek that the materials are being disposed of “in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.”
Since April, GovPlanet, an online auction house specializing in military surplus, has sold 81 lots of steel “square structural tubes” — intended for use as vertical bollards in the border barrier’s 30-foot-tall panels — hauling in about $2 million.
GovPlanet netted $154,200 for 729 of the 28-foot-tall hollow beams, sold in five separate lots for an average $212 apiece.
Just last month, as part of its annual defense appropriations package, the Democrat-led Senate passed a Republican-sponsored bill aimed at forcing Biden to stem the worsening migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border by extending the wall so the Biden Administration triggered the fire sale. In an attempt to thwart this action, they decided to hawk the materials.
Under specific terms of the liquidation, Gov Planet was instructed by the Pentagon to aggressively market and auction off approximately 12,000 border wall items, but not to mention Trump, Mexico, or the controversial border wall. “We are legally not allowed to mention these are the border wall materials, or we could lose our jobs,” the source said, on condition of anonymity. “But that’s what they are – 110 percent.”
Should have gone to Border states
“These auctions represent a brazen attempt to circumvent the FINISH IT Act, which was included in both the House and Senate FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act,” Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker told Magnolia Tribune.
Wicker, the ranking Republican member on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced the FINISH IT Act in mid-March along with Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst.
The FINISH IT Act would require the federal government to deploy the materials – which were found to be at 20 project sites across southern Arizona and New Mexico – or transfer them to state governments who can use them for wall construction.
“Several governors have indicated an intention and a desire to complete the border wall at their own expense,” said Senator Wicker. “This assisted that and allowed governors, like the governor of Texas who’s been very proactive on this, to direct already completed panels for the wall.” MagnoliaTribune
Instead, they were sold. And to buy them now will cost a lot more than they did before.