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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

US-Mexico border barrier

Photo by © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

President Joe Biden is cancelling billions in funding for construction of a wall at the southern border that had been authorized by his predecessor, according to The Hill.

Donald Trump had used emergency powers in 2019 to raid Defense Department coffers in order to fund his precious border wall after Congress declined to fully fund the project. Now the White House says some of the leftover funding will be used to help reverse the environmental damage caused by construction of the wall.

"Consistent with the President's Proclamation terminating the redirection of funds for border wall, no more money will be diverted from other purposes to building a border wall," a Biden administration official said Friday. "Today, the Department of Defense will begin cancelling all wall projects using the diverted funds, and will take steps to return remaining unobligated military construction funds to their appropriated purpose as permitted by law."

The move follows on Biden's immediate cancellation upon taking office of the state of emergency Trump had declared at the southern border. In total, Trump had secured some $16 billion for his precious wall, with about $6 billion of it being appropriated by Congress, according to the Associated Press. Now some of the $1.4 billion in funding that had been appropriated for the wall will instead be used to address environmental damage caused by the wall, including soil erosion in the San Diego area and increased risk of flooding in the Rio Grande Valley.

According to the AP, as of mid-January, the government had spent $6.1 billion of the $10.8 billion in work it had contracted to have done. Trump reportedly worked "feverishly" his final year in office in order to complete more than 450 miles of the wall.

In January, following the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, Trump traveled to Texas to take one last sad little victory lap on the wall, declaring, "I kept my promises" on completing 450 miles of wall.

Based on the amount still under contract, another 214 miles would have been built, bringing the total to 664 miles.

But President Biden brought that chapter to a close on Friday. Good riddance.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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