The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday announced it had decided that the Biden administration’s ending of wall construction at the southern border does not violate the law, after Republicans had called for the agency to weigh in.
The GAO concluded that President Biden’s executive order on Inauguration Day that directed a pause in border wall construction and paused funding obligations did not violate the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act (ICA) of 1974.
“Further, it is clear that delays in the obligation and expenditure of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations for border fencing or barriers are programmatic delays, not impoundments and do not violate the ICA,” Shirley Jones, managing associate general counsel for appropriations law, said in a statement.
Biden had campaigned on stopping the Trump-era wall construction, of which more than 450 miles were built during the prior administration. Biden promised that “not another foot” would be built — despite warnings from Republicans and Trump officials that it could cost money to cancel contracts already in place. Additionally, they have pointed to the ongoing crisis at the southern border and claimed that the order exacerbated the issue.
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