GAO Report Warns Border Wall Will Waste Billions

@EricBoehlert
GAO Report Warns Border Wall Will Waste Billions

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

In a stinging rebuke of Trump’s racist plan to build a border wall, Congress’ top watchdog agency is warning that Trump’s blueprint is poorly thought out, will take too long to complete, and it could waste billions of dollars if implemented in its current form.

That new conclusion comes from the Government Accounting Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Its report echoes previous complaints about Trump’s scheme to build a 1,900-mile wall to seal off America’s southern border.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are overseeing Trump’s fantasy scheme, but the GAO says the agencies are failing in the process.

“DHS plans to spend billions of dollars developing and deploying new barriers along the southwest border. However, by proceeding without key information on cost, acquisition baselines, and the contributions of previous barrier and technology deployments, DHS faces an increased risk that the Border Wall System Program will cost more than projected, take longer than planned, or not fully perform as expected,” the GAO concludes in the new report.

“Without assessing costs when prioritizing locations for future barriers, CBP does not have complete information to determine whether it is using its limited resources in the most cost-effective manner and does not have important cost information that would help it develop future budget requests,” the report says.

Trump’s unworkable border wall was a signature promise of his xenophobic presidential campaign and has continued to serve as a rallying cry for his base.

But like so many of his proposals, Trump’s idea for a border wall has become completely muddled — part fiction and part law enforcement fantasy.

Mexico, of course, isn’t paying one penny for the wall Trump promised that our southern neighbor would pay for. As a result, Trump and his supporters have come up with a series of ridiculous proposals to pay for the absurd construction project, including Rep. Diane Black’s (R-TN) suggestion to collect money via a government-sanctioned tip jar, and Trump’s suggestion to make the military pay for it.

Border experts have been mocking Trump’s wall plan since it was first floated during the 2016 campaign.

“The whole idea of building this big wall is preposterous. We already have fencing where we need it most,” Benjamin Webb, former executive director of CBP’s policy and planning office, stressed last year. “It would be an incredible waste of taxpayer money.”

And based on the new report, it’s pretty clear that the GAO agrees.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

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