Building Bust: The Cost of Stopping Border Wall Construction

Days after President Joe Biden took office, he announced with much fanfare an executive order halting all construction on the southern border wall. But there was plenty of fine print tucked into that order. "President Biden did a little bit of a head fake on his supporters when he announced he was cancelling all border wall construction," says Bob Price, associate editor of Breitbart Texas. "He actually didn't cancel it, he paused it for 60 days."

"And during that period, the cost to American taxpayers is about six million dollars a day, according to (border) officials," continues Price.

Indeed, Breitbart cites sources within the Department of Homeland Security for the exorbitant cost of not building the wall. "When you halt construction, you actually have to pay people to take the steel out of the ditches that aren't complete, and store it somewhere or dispose of it, and then fill that in so it's not a safety hazard," says Price.

But perhaps the biggest expense is in the billions of dollars in construction contracts already signed by the Trump administration, which are now in limbo during Biden's 'pause.'

"There are penalties built into these contracts," says Price. "Contractors go out and hire people, make expenditures, lease or buy equipment...and when the government just up and cancels their contract, that has costs and there are penalties involved in that."

"So, all of that combines to really put a burden on the American taxpayer."

The 60-day moratorium on construction expired days ago, raising more questions about what the administration will do now. In the meantime, the General Accounting Office (GAO), a federal government watchdog, is reviewing Biden's order to determine if it is even legal. "These contracts are part of the federal budget, and it's (Biden's) legal responsibility to execute the will of the Congress and spend the money on border wall system construction," says Price. "And he's not doing that."

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