March 18, 2021

Idaho Senators Question Legality of Border Wall Funding Freeze Amid Escalating Crisis

Washington, D.C.--Amid the rapidly escalating crisis along the southern border, U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) and 37 of their Senate colleagues to send a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlighting the Administration’s suspension of border wall funding and construction without lawful justification, as required by 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 senators continued, “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.” 

To read the full letter, click here.

Background: Since the start of the new administration, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) numbers have increased dramatically.  In February 2021, CBP had more than 100,000 border encounters, amounting to a 173 percent increase from February 2020.  Currently, CBP is overwhelmed and overcapacity with the U.S. currently on pace to experience more illegal border crossings than it has in the last 20 years.

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