Biden Tosses Trump Emergency Order Advancing Border Wall Construction
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Thursday rescinded the emergency order used by former President Trump to justify construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted,” Biden wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end.”
Then candidate Donald Trump first floated the idea of a border wall on the campaign trail in 2016, turning it into a call-and-response bit of show business with his followers.
“Who’s building a wall?” Trump would ask.
“We are,” his admirers shouted
“And who’s going to pay for it?”
“Mexico,” the crowd would roar.
Trump declared a national emergency at the border in early 2019 after failing to convince House Democrats to provide funding for the project.
The emergency declaration eased limits on how much taxpayer funding could be used for the project.
However, by the time construction actually began, the project was a boondoggle, with the Trump administration searching multiple federal agency budgets to scrape up the funding for the next portion of the wall to be raised.
Then, when he moved to divert $2.5 billion in Defense Department spending to complete construction, he wound up in court, facing a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of environmental groups.
Biden’s letter to the House Speaker is the last step of a process he began on inauguration day, when he signed an executive order calling into question Trump’s national emergency and ordering a temporary stop to all border wall construction.
Earlier this month, Biden ordered an assessment of the legality of the funding Trump relied on and the contracting methods used to construct the wall.
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