Is border wall worth it? Government watchdog questions it

August 7, 2018

A nonpartisan government watchdog says it can’t currently determine whether building President Trump’s southern border wall is the most effective use of federal funds, and that the project is at an “increased risk” of costing “more than projected.”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report outlining concerns about the cost and effectiveness of one of the president’s signature campaign promises. Trump originally said Mexico would pay for the wall, but has since threatened a government shutdown if he doesn’t get the $25 billion he wants to build the wall and boost border security.

So far, the president has received only a small portion of that funding from Congress, which is wary of launching a battle over immigration ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Contractors have built wall prototypes for U.S Customs and Border Protection after Trump issued an executive order directing Homeland Security to plan,design and build the barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border.

“DHS plans to spend billions of dollars developing and deploying new barriers along the southwest border,” GAO concluded in its report. “However, by proceeding without key information on cost, acquisition baselines, and the contributions of previous barrier and technology deployments, DHS faces an increased risk that the Border Wall System Program will cost more than projected, take longer than planned, or not fully perform as expected.”

It also said there isn’t enough information to determine the cost, schedule or performance goals to measure progress.

A DHS spokeswoman responded by saying walls are effective and Americans deserve a secure border.

ost as a factor in its prioritization strategy. The government watchdog also said DHS’ undersecretary for management should document its plans to follow DHS’ acquisition cycle.

DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said walls have proven extremely effective, and Americans deserve a secure border.

The border is nearly 2,000 miles long.Trump has been unable to get the congressional funding he needs and Mexico has made clear it won’t pay for it.

But the president also has said he would be willing to shut down the government to get that funding.

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