The GAO ruled that President Biden did not violate the law, as Republicans claimed when he withheld funds for Trump’s wall.
Congressional investigators said Tuesday that President Joe Biden’s pause of more than $1 billion in funds for southwest border wall construction did not violate the law as some Republican lawmakers had claimed.
Instead, the Government Accountability Office said withholding the funds from obligation is a “programmatic delay” that is allowed under the 1974 law establishing the modern budget process. That’s different from a previous finding that President Donald Trump’s administration violated the budget law when holding up Ukraine military assistance in 2019, which led to impeachment proceedings against the former president.
The reason why Biden didn’t violate the law was that Homeland Security already spent the appropriated funds through 2020, and there was nothing appropriated for 2021. When Trump blocked military aid to Ukraine, he was breaking the law because he was refusing to spend congressionally appropriated funds.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “Today’s announcement by the GAO is a welcome one. As the ruling made clear, a review of the environmental havoc wrought by former President Trump’s vanity wall, and taking the time to actually consult with the various stake holders, including landowners whose land was being seized, is legal and permitted by law. President Trump’s approach to the wall at the Southern Border was at best a bumper sticker approach to a serious policy issue, and it should be reviewed to ensure that American taxpayers’ dollars are well spent. It was right for President Biden to suspend the funds for such a review.”
The administration can call this a pause and review, but it is really the death and end of Trump’s wall. There is no way that the Biden administration is going to find Trump’s wall to be a necessary expense.
The wall was always a campaign prop for Trump that symbolized isolationism, bigotry, and hatred of immigrants.
The wall and the wasting of billions of taxpayer dollars are both history.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association