Newly-elected Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) is introducing a bill which requests $2.1 billion for the completion of the southern border wall. Called the “Build the Wall Act,” the new bill will remove “legal impediments” preventing border wall construction. Upon its passing, the bill will require construction to begin within 24 hours and will force Homeland Security to honor all contracts related to the border wall construction. Sen. Budd explains, “My 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.”
FOX NEWS: Sen. Ted Budd introduces bill forcing Biden admin to restart border wall construction, unlock $2.1B in funding
By Kyle Morris; February 14, 2023
EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., will introduce a bill Tuesday to restart construction of the wall at the southern border, removing obstacles that are currently obstructing the process and unlocking $2.1 billion in unspent wall funding.
Dubbed the Build the Wall Now Act, the legislation is the first measure to be introduced by Budd since he took office in January and aims to remove “legal impediments” preventing border wall construction.
Should it pass, the bill would require border wall construction to restart within 24 hours, prevents the Homeland Security secretary from canceling any of the contracts related to border wall construction, and requires the secretary to uphold all negotiated border wall agreements.
“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,” Budd, who formerly served in the House, told Fox News Digital. “My 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.”
Budd’s office said the measure also makes previously appropriated funds for the border wall available until spent, so the funding will not expire. It also limits those funds to being used only for the effective barrier designs the Trump administration was implementing.
Additionally, the newly-elected senator’s office said the bill lists the laws the Trump administration waived and excludes them from applying to border wall construction projects to speed up construction. It also codifies the Trump administration’s waivers to speed up border wall construction. Combined, those provisions would unlock over $2.1 billion in unspent funding for the border wall.
The bill, which is supported by the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), would enhance law requirements for building the border wall and ensure that tactical infrastructure and technology are used to secure the border. It would also require DHS to consult with the NBPC on initiatives to increase agent safety.
Co-sponsors of Budd’s measure include Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho.
The measure would need the support of every Republican and some Democrats to pass the Senate. The House version of the bill is being led by GOP Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who said the Biden 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,” Banks added.
Last month, U.S. border agents confirmed that 1.2 million illegal migrants “got away” from authorities while crossing the border under President Biden’s administration. The first half of Biden’s four-year term saw monthly border encounters rise from 101,000 in February 2021 to 251,000 in December 2022, according to CBP statistics.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) saw an estimated 718,000 border encounters in the first 100 days of fiscal year 2023, which began Oct. 1. In December, Border Patrol agents stopped 17 people on the FBI’s terror watch list at the southern border, bringing the total of individuals arrested at the southern border to 38 already for the current fiscal year.
Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., introduced a similar measure last week titled the WALL Act, which would expend funds to complete the construction of the Trump administration’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Britt’s legislation would pay for the completion of the wall by eliminating the entitlement benefits and tax credits that illegal immigrants are using and placing $3,000 minimum fines on those who illegally enter into the United States. The bill also calls for $300 fines to be placed on those working and filing taxes in the U.S.