02:20 GMT21 April 2021
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    Halting Donald Trump's pet project was one of the first executive orders Biden issued on his first day in the White House. The pause is supposed to give the administration time to figure out how technically to spend the money, allocated by Congress, on the wall without actually building it.

    The Government Accountability Office (GOA) in the US has launched an inquiry into the legality of President Joe Biden's order to halt the construction of the US border wall with Mexico, Politico reported citing the federal watchdog. According to the media outlet, the probe will look into whether the president overstepped his authority by meddling in the process of the distribution of funds allocated by Congress in December 2020.

    Back then, the two-party consensus authorised spending of $1.4 billion on the purposes of the US border wall with Mexico. Although Congress decides whether the money should go, the administration manages the process so that the funds are spent effectively.

    U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the mass shooting in Colorado from the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2021.
    © REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST
    U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the mass shooting in Colorado from the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2021.

    After Joe Biden's decision to slam the brakes on the pet project of his predecessor, Donald Trump, more than 70 Republican lawmakers condemned the move, asking the GOA to look into the president's actions. The office usually considers such requests and provides members of Congress with its review of the White House's actions. However, the results of such a probe bear no legal consequences for the president, especially in the Democrat-controlled Congress, which is unlikely to be inclined to impeach Biden.

    White House in Denial Over Emerging 'Border Crisis'

    Should the watchdog issue a ruling that states that Biden did overstep his authority with the move on the border wall, it will put wind in the sails of the Republicans' accusations and criticism of the Democrat. This would also come at a time when GOP members actively deride Joe Biden's migrant policy, claiming that his decisions akin to halting border wall construction contributed to the emergence of what they call a "border crisis".

    The White House has gone to great lengths to avoid (save for one slip of the tongue) labelling the sudden and significant influx of migrants a "border crisis". The overcrowded detention facilities and lack of Border Patrol personnel to deal with all migrants, who cross the US-Mexico border illegally in numbers also failed to prompt a visit from either the president or the vice-president to the southern states. The latter have threatened the White House with lawsuits, claiming that its immigration policy is hurting the states and their population.

    Related:

    Dozens of US Senate Republicans Label Biden’s Border Wall Freeze Unlawful, Call for GAO Probe
    US Troops to Remain on Mexico Border as ‘Digital Wall’ Likely to Replace Trump’s Barrier
    ‘Hitting the Brakes Isn’t Enough’: Rights Groups Push for Biden to Tear Down Trump’s Border Wall
    Rights Groups Blast Biden’s ‘Smart’ Border Wall Idea as ‘Trump’s Wall by Another Name’
    US Senate Republicans Seek Auditor Ruling on Legality of Biden Border Wall Halt
    Tags:
    US Government Accountability Office (GAO), Donald Trump, Joe Biden, US, border wall
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