A nonpartisan government watchdog has said that President Joe Biden did not break the law by pausing border wall construction and its funding after taking office. In a decision announced Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) called Biden’s pause and withholding of money “programmatic delays,” and not violations of U.S. law.
“As we said all along, this administration is committed to upholding the rule of law, and the President’s proclamation directed Federal agencies to comply with appropriations law at every step,” Office of Management and Budget spokesperson Abdullah Hasan said according to Roll Call.
Senate Republicans who demanded the probe threw a fit, of course. Politico reports that Sens. Richard Shelby and Shelley Moore Capito claimed that the “GAO’s decision today makes clear that there are two sets of rules when it comes to executing funds appropriated by Congress: one for Democrat administrations and one for Republican administrations.”
Nearly the entire caucus, 40 Republicans, had called on the watchdog to investigate the president’s decision, claiming in a March letter to the GAO comptroller general that Biden’s actions “were a blatant violation of federal law and infringe on Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.” Just truly extraordinary stuff here, folks. Like none of us watched congressional Republicans spend years doing zip to stop the previous president’s abuses.
Also recall that the Senate Republican caucus let the previous president off the hook for inciting a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that sought to overturn the 2020 election results, failing to convict him after he was impeached by the House for a second time. But believe them when they say they care about federal law and Congress’s constitutional powers. Eye roll.
Anyway, the GAO decision comes as Biden is also returning $2 billion in funds that the previous administration swindled for its stupid border wall. The administration said funds will be restored to dozens of projects both in the U.S. and around the world, including an elementary school supporting hundreds of children of U.S. military members. The administration also said it will use appropriated funds “to address urgent life, safety, and environmental issues” stemming from wall construction.
“For instance, DHS has already started work to repair the Rio Grande Valley flood protection system that the prior administration compromised, and to remediate dangerous soil erosion due to improper soil compaction along a 14-mile wall segment in San Diego, California,” the White House said.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials have also informed Congress they’re in the process of cancelling nearly two dozen border contracts. “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,” the White House said.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.