GAO Investigates Biden to Determine if He Broke the Law by Cancelling Wall Construction
On Joe Biden’s first day in office, he stopped building Donald Trump’s wall on our southern border. The Government Accountability Office is now reviewing that decision to determine whether it was legal after forty GOP Senators and 70 GOP Congressmen asked the agency to rule on the matter.
Senate Republicans noted in their request to GAO that what Biden had done was:
“…a blatant violation of federal law and infringe on Congress’ constitutional power of the purse. We write regarding these actions. We believe they violated the Impoundment Control Act (ICA) as interpreted by your office, and we request your legal opinion on the matter.”
They argue that the ICA requires that Biden transmit a message to Congress “that includes the amount of budget authority proposed for deferral or rescission and the reason for the proposal.”
The rationale behind this request is that Congress appropriated 1.4 billion dollars for building the wall as part of the December 2020 Coronavirus stimulus package and Joe Biden doesn’t unilaterally have the authority to scuttle it. So, what happens from here?
GAO managing director of public affairs said that it will take weeks for GAO to fully investigate this, and at that point, they’ll make a ruling. If the ruling is against Biden, which seems entirely possible, there are unlikely to be any legal penalties for him. He will just have to spend the money and the Biden Administration has said they’re willing to do that. The best guess is they’d want to spend it on expenditures related to the wall instead of putting a new section of the wall in place. They might make repairs, fix roads nearby, make more cages for the illegal kids that are pouring in, etc.
However, the argument from Republicans is that Congress specifically set that money aside for building new sections of the wall and that’s what must be done with it. We probably won’t know more about how this will play out until the GAO ruling, but it is now possible that Joe Biden will be required to build a small portion of Donald Trump’s wall.
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