TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced new legislation this week to transfer building materials to construct border walls to any state in the country, upon request, so long as they use it to build border walls or barriers.
The Border’s Unused Idle and Lying Dormant Inventory Transfer, or the BUILD IT Act, was also sponsored by several other Republican senators: Ted Cruz of Texas, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Steve Daines of Montana.
In a statement released to the press, Sen. Scott said the Biden administration was wasting $3 million in taxpayer dollars every day by paying contractors to simply observe and secure “unused border material.” Scott’s release said this was revealed by a report issued from the Minority Staff of the Government Operations and Border Management (GOBM) Subcommittee, a part of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs.
The senator’s release also said there were roughly $250 million in materials “sitting on our southern border,” unused. Scott said President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas are not only refusing to enforce the law or protect the border, but have also “laid out a welcome mat for human traffickers, terrorists and savage cartels” bringing drugs and crime across the border to American communities.
In a separate statement reported in the Daily Wire, Ernst said the figure was $350 million in unused material.
“Border patrol agents have made more than 2 million apprehensions since Biden was elected, thanks to Biden’s policies of amnesty and open borders. I’ve been to the southern border four times and one thing is clear – we need a border wall NOW. Biden’s reckless decision to terminate construction of the border wall cost taxpayers at least $1.8 BILLION in the first five months following his order, and that number is rising by MILLIONS every day,” Scott said, in part. “It makes no sense to allow construction materials American taxpayers already purchased for the purpose of building the wall remain unused. Let’s get these materials to the states to keep our communities safe.”
Legislation co-sponsor Ernst said the border crisis was now at “historic proportions” under the Biden administration.
“President Biden’s refusal to take action at the border has been a disaster, but his decision to cancel border barrier projects that were already underway is literally costing taxpayers billions,” Ernst said in a statement. “Here’s a simple solution, Mr. President: let’s put these materials to use, let’s end the taxpayer-funded waste, let’s stop the unprecedented flow of illegal migrants, and let’s build it!”
As summarized by the U.S. Senate, the bill, SB 4294, would terminate border fence construction contracts and transfer the unused materials to southwest border states. A full version of the legislation has not yet been published on the U.S. Senate site.