The Government Accountability Office is supposedly investigating Biden’s block of border wall funding, which might have broken the law by stopping funds that budget rules say should be decided by Congress.
“The Biden team must be cautious about doing stuff such as this because they’re going to do the same thing Trump did — only at the other side of the spectrum,” said Hedtler-Gaudette from the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog organization.
Biden froze the funding on his first day as president, a move GOP members have said “directly led” to the border crisis. Now 70 Republicans have asked the GAO to investigate the issue, which the watchdog group usually does at the request of lawmakers.
Senator Roy Blunt said Biden has no reason for the fund freeze, saying that Biden served in Washington for over three decades.
“Biden was in Congress for decades,” Blunt said. “He understands it’s Congress’s role to authorize how funds are spent and the president’s job to use it without waste.”
Conservatives are hoping that the GAO opinion for President Biden would help their case that his team is responsible for the flood of people at the southern border.
The Biden team has said that the freeze was “a needed step for correct management of federal money,” mentioning lawsuits against the building of the wall.
White House officials have also stressed the fact that the money freeze was done using a presidential proclamation, something not taken by former President Trump when the GAO said he illegally withheld aid from Ukraine.
But Hedtler-Gaudette said the freeze was not President Biden’s call to make.
“Many of us believe the wall was a dumb idea, a waste of resources, but lawmakers decided to spend money on it,” Hedtler-Gaudette explained. “And the solution is not to have the White House overruling congress.”
The Republican senators who requested that the GAO review the freeze stated that “billions in legally appropriated funds … sit untouched by the Biden team,” which violates a law against presidents ignoring funds already granted by Congress.
The stop to wall construction is still costing American’s 6 million per day as contractors are paid for their rental fees, according to a top DHS official.
That 60-day stop has now expired, but the Biden White House still has not chosen what to do with the money despite the GAO investigation in the background.
The Biden administration claimed it still plans to use the funds, though it is possible that the agencies could use the funds on wall-related expenses, like repairs, instead of continuing new construction.
Author: Steven Sinclaire