Senate Republican Introduces Bill to Build the Border Wall
FAIR Take | February 2023
On Tuesday, Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.) introduced the Build the Wall Now Act. The bill, his first since being elected to the U.S. Senate, would require border wall construction to begin again within 24 hours. It would also free up more than $2 billion in previously appropriated funds and clear legal roadblocks holding up construction.
The legislation has already garnered support from other Republican lawmakers, with Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introducing the House companion.
According to Senator Budd, “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.”
Immediately upon taking office, President Biden paused all funding for the border wall, arguing that the border wall is not a serious solution and detracts funds and attention away from those serious solutions, which apparently involve letting record numbers of suspects from the terror watchlist cross the border unimpeded.
Hiding behind environmental and Endangered Species Act reviews that often drag on for years, it is clear that the Biden administration is, in fact, aiming to run out the five-year clock on the $6 billion in funding that Congress appropriated for border wall construction in fiscal years 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. To date, $2.1 billion of those funds have yet to be spent.
Not only would the Build Wall Now Act require restarting border wall construction, it would also codify Trump-era waivers to frivolous legal review challenges, make already appropriated funds available indefinitely, and work to enhance agent safety through consultation with the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC).
The United States is in the middle of an unprecedented border crisis, with more than 5.5 million illegal aliens having crossed the border in the last two years, along with dozens of known or suspected terrorists and thousands of pounds of fentanyl.
In just the last three months of 2022 alone, border patrol agents encountered roughly 718,000 illegal crossers, including 38 on the terror watchlist.
With no end in sight, this effort from Senator Budd to secure our border now by using already appropriated funds is a sensible, clear-eyed solution to the Biden administration’s border crisis.
As Congressman Banks noted, “[f]or 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.”