Dozens of Republican senators questioned the legality of a presidential suspension of government funding for the southern border upgrade.

A total of 40 GOP senators expressed concern about Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day decision to freeze taxpayer money used to upgrade the U.S.–Mexico border wall in a joint letter to Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.

The group, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), revealed Congress had already approved more than $1 billion of funding.

“On January 20th, in one of the first official acts of his presidency, Joseph Biden suspended border wall construction and ordered a freeze of funds provided by Congress for that purpose,” the joint letter said. “In the weeks that followed, operational control of our southern border was compromised, and a humanitarian and national security crisis has ensued.”

The senators accused Biden of violating federal law through infringing on “Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.”

“We believe they violated the Impoundment Control Act, as interpreted by your office, and we request your legal opinion on the matter,” they said. “Prompt action to end these violations is required to restore order at the border.”

They suggested the current U.S.–Mexico border crisis could have easily been circumvented by not stopping construction work in the first place.

“The president’s actions directly contributed to this unfortunate, yet entirely avoidable, scenario,” they said. “President Biden issued a proclamation directing [the] Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget—to ‘pause immediately the obligation of funds related to construction of the southern border wall’ and to ‘pause work on each construction project on the southern border wall.'”

The senators are also not impressed with the Biden administration’s lack of interest in protecting national borders.

“‘Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution’ and that this congressionally mandated project is a ‘waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security,'” they said of President Biden’s position on the matter.

If the Democrats are allowed to continue ignoring border security, this will have broader implications on future border wall upgrades.

“The proclamation was not just empty political rhetoric,” the senators said. “We understand from DHS that it has suspended its border wall projects, that the continued obligation of funds for those purposes has been halted, and that both are a direct consequence of the proclamation.”

The following GOP senators cosigned the letter:

  • John Barrasso (Wyo.)
  • Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)
  • Roy Blunt (Mo.)
  • John Boozman (Ark.)
  • Mike Braun (Ind.)
  • Richard Burr (N.C.)
  • Susan Collins (Maine)
  • John Cornyn (Texas)
  • Tom Cotton (Ark.)
  • Kevin Cramer (N.D.)
  • Mike Crapo (Idaho)
  • Steve Daines (Mont.)
  • Joni Ernst (Iowa)
  • Deb Fischer (Neb.)
  • Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
  • Bill Hagerty (Tenn.)
  • John Hoeven (N.D.)
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.)
  • Jim Inhofe (Okla.)
  • John Kennedy (La.)
  • James Lankford (Okla.)
  • Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.)
  • Roger Marshall (Kan.)
  • Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
  • Jerry Moran (Kan.)
  • Rand Paul (Ky.)
  • Rob Portman (Ohio)
  • Jim Risch (Idaho)
  • Mitt Romney (Utah)
  • Mike Rounds (S.D.)
  • Marco Rubio (Fla.)
  • Rick Scott (Fla.)
  • Richard Shelby (Ala.)
  • John Thune (S.D.)
  • Thom Tillis (N.C.)
  • Pat Toomey (Penn.)
  • Tommy Tuberville (Ala.)
  • Roger Wicker (Miss.)
  • Todd Young (Ind.)

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