WASHINGTON – Tuesday, Congressman Jim Banks introduced the Build the Wall Now Act to require border wall construction to restart within 24 hours, remove all legal impediments to construction, and unlock $2.1 billion in unspent wall funding. The Senate version of the bill is led by Senator Ted Budd (R-NC).
Read the bill text HERE.
Rep. Banks said, “This administration is letting construction materials that have already been paid for sit and rot rather than finish building President Trump’s border wall and we are all paying the price. For the same reason that Joe Biden had a fence put up around his State of the Union address, we need to finish building the wall on our southern border to keep American families and communities safe.”
Senator Budd, said, “President Biden has created the worst border crisis in American history. Instead of taking steps to solve this crisis, the Biden administration has tried to run out the regulatory clock on border wall construction. The Build the Wall Now Act ends this administration’s excuses and forces them to restart wall construction immediately. It’s time for a comprehensive solution to end the Biden Border Crisis, and this bill does just that.”
The bill is supported by the National Border Patrol Council, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and Heritage Action for America.
- Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36)
- Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-05)
- Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13)
- Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08)
- Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX-02)
- Rep. Wesley Hunt (TX-38)
- Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03)
- Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-08)
- Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01)
- Rep. Beth Van Duyne (TX-24)
- Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02)
- Rep. Mary Miller (IL-15)
- Rep. George Santos (NY-03)
- Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
- On President Biden’s first day in office, he signed Presidential Proclamation 10142 which paused all funding for the border wall.
- After pressure from 71 members of the House and Senate, the Government Accountability Office ruled that this was not a permanent impoundment, but rather a “programmatic delay.”
- The Biden administration claimed that this delay will be used to conduct additional environmental and Endangered Species Act reviews that had been waived by the Trump administration.
- Congress appropriated approximately $6 billion for border wall construction from 2018–2021, and $2.1 billion remains unspent.
- The appropriations for border wall funding are only available for five years.
- Therefore, if these reviews take more than five years, the border wall funds previously appropriated will expire.
- Section 102(c)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to “waive all legal requirements such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” at the border.
- The Trump Administration used this authority to waive 50 different provisions of law to speed up border construction.
The Build the Wall Now Act:
- Requires border wall construction to restart within 24 hours.
- Prohibits the Secretary from canceling any of the contracts related to border wall construction.
- Requires the Secretary to uphold all negotiated border wall agreements.
- Makes previously appropriated funds for the border wall available until they are spent, so the funding will not expire.
- Unlocks over $2.1 billion in unspent funding for the border wall by codifying all Trump administration waivers used to speed up construction.
- The bill requires DHS to consult with the National Border Patrol Council on initiatives to increase agent safety.