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December 04, 2019

Chairman Thompson Requests Investigation into $400 Million Border Wall Contract

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General to request a review of the $400 million border wall construction contract the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded to a company President Trump frequently touted. 

Letter text: 

I write seeking a review of the $400 million contract the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded to Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. on December 2, 2019, to design and build border infrastructure in Yuma County, Arizona.  

Since President Trump ordered the immediate construction of a “wall” along the southern border in January 2017, USACE has awarded multiple construction contracts valued at more than an estimated $2.5 billion—mostly for the replacement of existing fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.  Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. had not been awarded a construction contract prior to December 2, as its proposals reportedly did not meet the operational requirements of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its prototype project came in late and over budget.

Nevertheless, President Trump has personally repeatedly urged USACE to award construction contracts to Fisher Sand and Gravel Co.  Jared Kushner, whom President Trump recently named as the White House lead for border construction projects, has also reportedly supported the company’s selection.  Moreover, Department of Homeland Security officials—including acting Secretary Chad Wolf—toured a private border barrier being constructed by Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. just over a week before USACE awarded the $400 million construction contract. 

These actions raise concerns about the possibility of inappropriate influence on USACE’s contracting decision. Therefore, I am requesting that you review the award of this contract to ensure that the bid submitted by Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. met the solicitation standards and that USACE made the award in accordance with federal procurement law and regulations.

Letter text

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