The remaining funds will be returned to the Pentagon and will help mitigate destruction caused by border wall construction.
In the final months of Donald Trump’s term, the former president rushed to get his border wall completed—a nearly impossible fete. The US-Mexico border is 2,000 miles long, and only 415 miles of the wall had been built under his administration. Now under President Joe Biden, the border wall is a defunct project.
On April 30, the Biden administration said it was canceling all projects related to the border wall. Furthermore, the funds that remained from the $10 billion that Trump took from the military would be returned.
“The Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “Today’s action reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families.”
The Army Corps of Engineers said last fall that if Biden were to cancel the remaining contracts and stopped all border construction, it could save the government and taxpayers billions of dollars. An estimation shows that the government would save about $2.6 billion after paying demobilization costs to contractors.
Rep. Vicente González (D-Texas) said he is pleased that the Biden administration will not leave the border situation as Trump left it because the people in his district will undoubtedly pay the price. An estimated 250,000 people face severe flooding if the levee breaks.
“It’s imperative that these structures are fixed prior to the hurricane season,” González said in a statement.
He added on Twitter: “I am pleased to announce I have successfully secured a commitment from the Biden administration to fix the broken levees in the Río Grande Valley (RGV).”
Rep. Nanette D. Barragán (D-Calif.) said she too was glad that Biden kept his promise to stop border construction.
“Great to see @POTUS Biden keeping a promise and canceling these wasteful border wall contracts,” she tweeted. “The former administration took $ meant to build better homes for our soldiers & used it on a vanity project so Trump could sign it with a Sharpie. Nice to have real leadership again.”