American taxpayers would save $2.6 billion if President-elect Joe Biden halts the construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall on his first day in office, according to estimates reviewed by The Washington Post.
"There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration,” Biden vowed during an interview with NPR during the campaign. "I'm going to make sure that we have border protection, but it's going to be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with it. And at the ports of entry — that's where all the bad stuff is happening.”
Biden said he would also halt the Trump administration’s confiscation of land on the border.
"End. Stop. Done. Over. Not going to do it. Withdraw the lawsuits. We're out. We're not going to confiscate the land," he said.
Plan would save billions:
The US Army Corps of Engineers estimated that the US government would save $2.6 billion if Biden made good on his promise.
An Army Corps spokesperson told the Post that commanders met with Biden’s team last week to discuss the wall.
“We cannot speculate on what the final cost estimates for undelivered work would be nor speculate about what actions a White House Administration may or may not take,” spokeswoman Raini Brunson said.
Trump blew through billions:
The Trump administration obtained $15 billion for 738 miles of the wall.
Only a third came from Congress while Trump siphoned the rest from Pentagon counternarcotics programs and military construction accounts.
The US Army Corps estimates there will be about $3.3 billion left in unused funds on Inauguration Day.
Due to contracts, the government would have to pay about $700 million in “demobilization” fees to cover the cost of withdrawing crews and equipment from the border.
“Building a wall will do little to deter criminals and cartels seeking to exploit our borders,” Biden’s plan says. “Instead of stealing resources from schools for military children and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, Biden will direct federal resources to smart border enforcement efforts, like investments in improving screening infrastructure at our ports of entry, that will actually keep America safer.”