Republicans unveiled legislation that would seek to immediately restart construction of former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall, citing unspent funds on the project aimed at halting illegal migrant crossings.
Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and Sen. Ted Budd of North Carolina led the bill, which calls for construction efforts to restart within 24 hours, the removal of all legal impediments and the unlocking of $2.1 billion in unspent funds earmarked for the project.
“This administration is letting construction materials that have already been paid for sit and rot rather than finish building President Trump’s border wall and we are all paying the price,” Mr. Banks said in a statement. “For the same reason that Joe Biden had a fence put up around his State of the Union address, we need to finish building the wall on our southern border to keep American families and communities safe.”
The bill in the House features several GOP co-sponsors, including Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, and the embattled George Santos of New York.
The legislation has the potential to pass the House, but will almost certainly die in the Democratic-led Senate.
House Republicans have faced internal disagreements on how far to go on their border agenda, with some moderate lawmakers saying it would hurt immigrants and their Hispanic support.
Mr. Trump made building a wall on the southern border his signature push in office, decrying the unchecked flow of illegal immigrants coming into the country.
House Republicans have made border security a top priority since securing the majority. The party has blamed the Biden administration for the surge in crossings, which hit 2.4 million illegal encounters in fiscal year 2022.