DHS Waiving Federal Contracting Laws to Expedite Border Wall Construction

Trump admin hoping to build 450 miles of wall before 2021

Image Credits: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced it will waive nearly a dozen federal contracting regulations in order to expedite construction of up to 177 miles of border wall.

The laws being waived include “requirements for having open competition, justifying selections and receiving all bonding from a contractor before any work can begin,” according to the Associated Press.

Acting DHS chief Chad Wolf is reportedly operating under broad authority to construct border barriers granted to him by a 2005 law which passed unanimously in the Senate.

“The Trump administration said it expects the waivers will allow 94 miles (150 kilometers) of wall to be built this year, bringing the Republican president closer to his pledge of about 450 miles (720 kilometers) since taking office and making it one of his top domestic priorities,” the AP reports. “It said the other 83 miles (133 kilometers) covered by the waivers may get built this year.”

Acting Secretary Wolf said he hopes the move “will accelerate some of the construction that’s going along the Southwest border.”

“A border wall system, for many years and under previous administrations, was very bipartisan and non-political,” Wolf told Fox and Friends. “It’s only in this administration that a number of Democrats and others choose not to secure our border, so the President has made the decision that if he’s not going to get the funding and resources from Congress, then he’s going to use existing resources and existing authority — not only from the Department of Homeland Security, but also from [Department of Defense].”

“So we are securing that border. We’re building that border wall system, and we’re looking forward to finishing those miles later this year.”



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