The Biden administration is spending about $130,000 per day “to do nothing” with former President Donald Trump’s unused border wall materials on the southern border, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.
Fox News reported on March 16 that the Biden administration is paying private landowners to store 20,000 unused border wall sections—also known as bollard panels—at 20 project sites, in addition to security cameras, overhead lights, and electrical and stormwater materials.
Republican members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee sent a letter detailing the situation to Melissa Dalton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs, on March 15.
“Every day, the Department of Defense pays $130,000 to store, maintain, and secure these materials,” the senators wrote in the letter. “Since you were sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs a year ago, you have allowed the Department to pay over $47 million to store these panels.”
Dalton was asked why the remaining unused materials were not disposed of by the Defense Department, which it is required to do in coordination with the Defense Logistics Agency to reutilize, resell, or demilitarize military property.
“We assume you are well aware of this capability since the Department used the program to transfer 1,700 border wall panels to the state of Texas early in your tenure,” the senators wrote.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has so far apprehended 2,999 Chinese nationals who illegally attempted to cross the southern border in fiscal year 2023, a 719 percent increase over 2022.
Most of the illegal fentanyl in the United States is manufactured in Mexico by cartels and then trafficked into the United States, with the support of the Chinese Communist government in Beijing.
Senate Republicans issued a report in 2021 that Biden’s attempt to suspend or end border wall construction was costing taxpayers $3 million per day.
Republicans Demand Action on the Border
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and several Republican senators introduced a bill on March 9 that would force the Biden administration to resume construction on the border wall to stop the massive flow of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been widely blamed for the mess at the border, is facing new impeachment charges in the Republican controlled House, over his handling of the border crisis.
In February, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) filed his second article of impeachment against Mayorkas, accusing him of having intentionally induced or exacerbated the crisis at the southern border.
“This is done intentionally. This is not negligence, it is not by accident, it is not incompetence,” said Biggs, who demanded more efforts to introduce policies to stop the influx of illegal immigrants.
“Secretary Mayorkas is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border. His policies have incentivized more than 5 million illegal aliens to show up at our southern border—an all-time figure,” Biggs said in a prepared statement on Feb. 1.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called on Mayorkas to resign in November and warned that Republicans would proceed with moves to impeach him.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.