- The White House on Friday reverted about $2 billion in border wall spending back to the military.
- Trump’s 84km of new wall cost up to $46 million per mile, Biden’s administration said.
- It wasn’t “a serious policy solution or responsible use of federal funds,” the White House said.
- Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.
The White House on Friday pulled more than $2 billion in funding that the former administration had diverted for its southern border wall project, sending the money back to the military.
President Donald Trump had pitched a “big, beautiful wall” along the border between the US and Mexico. The White House on Friday said the project had taken attention away from “genuine security challenges, like drug smuggling and human trafficking.”
“Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of federal funds,” The White House Office of Management and Budget said in a briefing on Friday.
While in the Oval Office, Trump built 84km of a new wall along the border between the US and Mexico, with some sections costing an average of $46 million per mile, the budget office said. The border between the two countries stretches more than 3,058km, some of which already had barriers in place before Trump’s election.
President Joe Biden paused the redirection of funds for the wall on his first day in office. The administration then missed its own deadline for a long-term solution, and reportedly considered restarting some construction.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot on Thursday said he planned to continue building a wall along his state’s border with Mexico. He planned to spend $1 billion on border security and a task force, The Texas Tribune reported.
Biden’s administration on Friday called for Congress to cancel other previously allocated funds for border wall projects.
The wall construction diverted “critical” military training funds. It also “caused serious risks to life, safety, and the environment,” the White House said.
The more than $2 billion in funding being redirected by Biden’s administration will fund 66 deferred projects in 11 states, three territories, and 16 countries, the budget office said.
The funding will include $10 million for a missile field expansion in Alaska, $25 million for a radio complex in North Carolina, and $79 million for upgrades to an elementary school for US military children in Germany.