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January 10, 2019

RE-RELEASE GAO REPORT FROM AUGUST: Trump’s Wall Set to Waste Billions, Provide No Measurable Benefit

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security has re-released a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from this summer on President Trump’s completely unnecessary and wasteful border wall. 

In the report entitled, “Southwest Border Security: CBP Is Evaluating Designs and Locations for Border Barriers but Is Proceeding Without Key Information,” the GAO found that CBP selected locations for new construction before assessing which areas along the southern border should be prioritized and without full cost estimates. GAO also found that CBP continues to move construction projects forward while still not having metrics in place to gauge effectiveness. In this rush, GAO argues that DHS may end up paying way more than anticipated, potentially wasting billions without anything to show for it. CBP also did not follow required DHS planning and acquisition protocols. It is clear the President and the Administration did not read the report.

With the federal government and nearly a million of its employees being held hostage over the President’s demand to squander billions over his wall, a review of this independent government report is demanded.

Chairman Thompson released the following statement on the report:

"This report exposes the President’s wall for what it is – nothing more than an expensive vanity project.  It is clear he is fixated on campaign promises no matter the cost or consequences.  Now he is contemplating falsely declaring a national emergency to rush the construction of his completely unnecessary wall. Whether steel or concrete, there is nothing special about his wall and it will not secure our borders.”

“In moving too fast, the Administration has ignored necessary and established acquisitions protocols and plan to build a multi-billion dollar border wall where their own analysis shows it is not a priority.  To be blunt, this Administration has no clue what it is doing and must be held accountable. Since DHS picked locations for the President's wall before taking into account effectiveness or cost, any more spending on Trump's wall would be a giant waste of taxpayer money and may not provide any measurable security benefit.  At this point, spending billions on the President's wall is just a gift to contractors and the President's political base. While we may surmise that politics played a role in how the Administration decided where to build the President's wall, we now know for certain that effectiveness and considering the full range of costs were not part of the decision-making process."

"I urge my colleagues to read this report before allowing another dime be spent on the President's boondoggle. Democrats have and continue to support proven border security solutions, but we will not sit idly by while billions of American taxpayer dollars to be thrown down the toilet."

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978