Hoeven Joins Effort Outlining Unlawful Freezing of Border Wall Funding
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, this week joined Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) in urging Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller Gene L. Dodaro to review President Joe Biden’s suspension of border wall funding and construction without lawful justification, in violation of the Impoundment Control Act.
“On January 20th, in one of the first official acts of his presidency, Joseph Biden suspended border wall construction and ordered a freeze of funds provided by Congress for that purpose,” the senators wrote. “In the weeks that followed, operational control of our southern border was compromised and a humanitarian and national security crisis has ensued. The President’s actions directly contributed to this unfortunate, yet entirely avoidable, scenario. They are also a blatant violation of federal law and infringe on Congress’s 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. Prompt action to end these violations is required to restore order at the border.”
Since President Biden’s election in November 2020, activity at the border has increased significantly according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) figures. In February 2021, CBP had 100,441 border encounters, amounting to a 39 percent increase from 71,946 encounters in October 2020 and a 173 percent increase from the 36,687 encounters in February 2020 – just one year prior. Additionally, there have been 325,012 border encounters since November 2020, while there were only 220,563 in the four months prior – a 68 percent increase.
Senators Hoeven and Capito were also joined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as well as Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
The full text of the letter is linked here.
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