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Senate Republicans urge Biden to stop selling unused border wall parts

Last week, the Biden administration began quietly auctioning off millions of dollars worth of unused parts of the border wall.

Border wall
Border wall | Shutterstock

August 24, 2023 9:03am

Updated: August 24, 2023 9:03am

Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee are urging the Biden administration to halt the sale of unused border wall parts as the number of migrants crossing the border surges. 

“We are deeply disappointed to learn that rather than using construction materials that were purchased to secure the southwest border for that purpose, the Department of Defense has begun auctioning these materials off for other purposes,” Republicans on the panel wrote in a letter addressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Last week, the Biden administration began quietly auctioning off millions of dollars worth of unused parts of the border wall. The sale included 81 lots of steel “square structural tubes” used as vertical bollards in the 30-foot wall. They were sold for about $2 million on GovPlanet, an online auction marketplace specializing in military surplus. 

On Tuesday alone, officials sold over 700 28-foot hollow beams in five separate lots for $212 each. Thirteen more lots are set to be auctioned between August 23 and August 30, according to the online auction website. 

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is disposing of the excess border wall materials in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation," a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson said in an email to Fox News Digital.

"USACE has already transferred approximately $154 million worth of the roughly $260 million of bollard panels and other materials in accordance with standard excess property disposition procedures. USACE stands ready to implement a decision regarding the disposition of the remaining materials," the spokesperson added. 

Republicans on the panel, led by Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss) demanded that the planned auctions be investigated and provide a full accounting of the border wall parts being sold. 

“The Biden administration canceled border wall projects and left materials to rack up dust,” signer Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), said in a statement to The New York Post.

“As I have worked to hold him accountable for wasting taxpayer-funded parts and use them to actually secure our border — President Biden is shamelessly auctioning them off for pennies on the dollar!” she added.

Congressional Republicans noted that the Department of Defense has been spending around $47 million every year—$130,000 daily—to store the leftover border wall panels in the Southwest. 

The sale comes as the number of undocumented migrant apprehensions by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents increased between June and July at the U.S.-Mexico border. The number of migrant encounters along the southern border in July increased to 132,652 from 99,545 in June, driven by the large number of families crossing the border. 

"Instead of securing the border, President Biden is auctioning off taxpayer-funded wall materials for pennies on the dollar," Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. "He cannot avoid Congress’ accountability and must use these parts for their intended purposes. BUILD the wall and FINISH it!"