The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced this week that President Joe Biden (D) did not break federal budget law upon freezing border wall funding during his first day in office. The response is that Biden’s pause constitutes a “programmatic delay” and not an illegal stoppage of money that was provided by Congress for building the wall.
The GAO released a legal opinion explaining the situation, arguing “that delays in the obligation and expenditure of DHS’s appropriations are programmatic delays, not impoundments.” Therefore, “DHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have shown that the use of funds is delayed in order to perform environmental reviews and consult with various stakeholders, as required by law, and determine project funding needs in light of changes that warrant using funds differently than initially planned.”
The GOP quickly criticized the opinion, commenting that the GAO was establishing different standards for holding Republicans and Democrats accountable.
The news comes after a number of Republicans made calls for the Biden administration to be investigated, alleging that the decision was a violation of federal budget law.
As well, the announcement comes after Governor Greg Abbott Greg Abbott (R) announced that Texas would be building a border wall along the Texas-Mexico border by soliciting donations from across the country. He made the announcement that Texas would be crowdfunding on an appearance in the Ruthless podcast.
“When I do make the announcement later on this week, I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to for everybody. In the United States – really everybody in the world – who wants to help Texas build the border wall,” Abbott commented, adding that “there will be a place on there where they can contribute.”
When it comes to the donations made to the project, Abbott mentioned that all of the donations will be directed to a fund “overseen by the state of Texas in the governor’s office.”
He assured that his office would provide “great transparency,” expressing that “everyone will know every penny. In, every penny out, but the sole purpose for those funds will be going to build the border wall.”
GOP members have expressed growing immigration concerns at the border. A recent BBC report indicated that “the number of undocumented migrants reaching the US-Mexico border has hit the highest level in more than 20 years in the latest sign of the humanitarian crisis facing the Biden administration.”
The immigration crisis along the border continues.