Sen. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch partnered with Sen. Ted Budd from North Carolina to introduce the Build the Wall Now Act on Tuesday.
If signed into law, wall reconstruction along the southern border would restart within 24 hours. The bill removes legal impediments to construction and unlocks $2.1 billion in federal funding that was previously allocated for wall construction.
Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana, proposed similar legislation in the House with both bills receiving support from organizations such as the National Border Patrol Council and Federation for American Immigration Reform.
One of the main goals of the bill is to help strengthen the southern border and deter, impede and detect illegal activity in high-traffic areas.
“Border walls work,” Risch said in a press release. “It successfully deters illegal immigration and helps reduce the flow of deadly illegal drugs, like fentanyl, from flowing freely into the U.S. But that didn’t stop President Biden from halting the construction of the southern border wall. With the Build the Wall Now Act, the remaining $2.1 billion already approved and allocated by Congress will finally be used for its intended purpose, the completion of the southern border wall. This commonsense measure is a critical step Congress can take to reverse President Biden’s disastrous failures to keep our border secure.”
Crapo expressed similar concerns about safety.
“Under President Biden, there have been the most illegal border crossings in U.S. history,” Crapo said in a press release. “This is alarming and intolerable. With those illegal crossings, we have seen record levels of lethal fentanyl flowing into our communities, killing our nation’s young adults at tragic rates. We must protect our national security and secure our border now in order to ensure the safety of American citizens.”
The Build the Wall Now Act would:
— Require border wall construction to restart within 24 hours
— Prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from canceling any contracts related to border wall construction
— Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to uphold all negotiated border wall agreements
— Make available previously appropriated funds for the border wall until they are spent so funding does not expire
— Unlock over $2.1 billion in unspent funding for the border wall by codifying all Trump administration waivers used to speed up construction
— Require the Department of Homeland Security to consult with the National Border Patrol Council on initiatives to increase agent safety
You can read the text of the bill here.