The Department of Homeland Security says it is waiving a number of federal contract laws to speed up construction of the southern border wall.
“177 Miles of New Border Wall”
177 miles of border wall, from Calfornia, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, will be able to be built faster due to the waiving of these laws. This is the first time that waivers have been used in this way, as usually they are simply done to bypass environmental regulations, but now requirements for open competition and justifying selections will also be binned.
Heather Swift, a spokesman for the DHS, said that “working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security is exercising its Congressionally-granted authority to waive procurement regulations in six high-traffic border sectors, which will allow us to use already vetted and experienced contractors to build an additional 177 miles of new border wall system.”
Speaking to Fox and Friends, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf noted that the DHS already has a number of powers granted to it by Congress.
“Congress has given the Department the authority to waive a number of laws and regulations when it comes to building border barriers and border roads. The Department has used that authority 21 times, mostly waiving environmental regulations and laws,” Wolf said. “Today, we’re going to start waiving those for procurement-related regulations and laws as well, which allow us to speed up a lot of our contracts that the Army Corps has, anywhere from 30 to 45 to 60 days. We hope that that will accelerate some of the construction that’s going along the southwest border.”
Wolf went on to explain that money was not only coming from “DHS-appropriated funding from Congress,” but also from the Department of Defense, “who just recently reprogrammed about $3.2-3.3 billion dollars for a number of our border barrier walls.”
Wolf added that they already have “about 120 miles of new border wall system in the ground today,” and that they have “another 200 under construction, and we’ll be at 450 by the end of the calendar year.”
Border wall update courtesy of Acting @DHS_Wolf:
120 miles new border wall in the ground today.
200 miles under construction right now.
450 miles by the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/VXcOU2t7On
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) February 18, 2020
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This is fantastic news for the protection of our southern border! It warms the heart to see government departments get on with their designated function, rather than being full up of swamp busybodies who do anything else than what they’re supposed to be doing.
Congress has granted the DHS the power to act, and they are acting to speed up the protection of American citizens from foreign criminals and other border-jumpers. Let’s just hope they continue on with this progress.
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