Democrats call for border wall contract review | World Defense

Democrats call for border wall contract review


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Democrats call for border wall contract review
April 24, 2020

Two Congressional Democrats have asked the Pentagon's acting inspector general to investigate a border wall contract awarded to a Montana contractor this month. In this June 2019 photo, a dog roams the U.S. - Mexico border fence at International Friendship Park in Imperial Beach, Calif. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

April 24 (UPI) -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) have asked the acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense to review a border wall contract awarded earlier this month.

In mid-April the Army awarded BFBC, an affiliate of Bozeman, Mont.-based Barnard Construction with a $569 million contract to build 17.17 miles of wall in southern California.

The letter calls attention to the high price of the wall -- $33 million per mile -- which they said was more than a price that is more than 50 percent higher than the $20 million per-mile average reported in January.

"The decision to award a no-bid contract to BFBC-whose parent firm, Barnard Construction, is led by a reliable Republican campaign donor who has donated thousands of dollars to President Trump's reelection campaign - raises serious questions about both potential government waste and the fairness of the procurement process. BFBC has so far received more than $1 billion of taxpayer money to build the border wall," said the letter.

Last week, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also released a statement saying he had asked the Government Accountability Office to include Barnard Construction in its investigation of border wall contracts involving politically-connected contractors.

"The contracting process should be merit-based and free from political influence and corruption," Reed said. "Equally important is the fact that at a time when the Trump Administration should be mobilizing resources, including the Army Corps of Engineers, to help effectively combat coronavirus and save lives, the Trump Administration is instead directing half a billion dollars to a no-bid contract to build an ineffective wall. This raises troubling questions about the timing of this contract and how it was given to this private contractor."

According to Federal Election Commission filings, in 2019 Timothy Barnard, listed as the chairman of Barnard Construction on the company's website, gave $2,800 to President Donald Trump's reelection campaign.

Barnard's political contributions also include a number of Montana-based Republicans politicians and political action committees. In 2015 and 2016, he gave to several of Trump's opponents in the Republican primary, including Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush.

Reed had already asked the GAO to investigate Fisher Sand & Gravel, which in December received a $400 million contract to build a 31-mile section of the wall.

Fisher has faced similar questions of undue influence.

The North Dakota firm has sought contracts for the wall since at least 2017 and its CEO has said his company can work faster and cheaper than competitors. The per-mile price of the December contract is $12.9 million.

Earlier this month four Congressional Democrats, including Thompson, called for a halt to border wall construction due to the coronavirus pandemic, which the Department of Defense has continued to award despite the pandemic, political opposition and litigation.

At the beginning of April SLSCO Ltd. was awarded a $61.4 million modification to a previously awarded $789 million contract for work on a section of wall near El Paso, Texas. The award announcement did not specify the length of this section of wall.

In March Southwest Valley Constructors, a division of the Omaha-based Kiewit, received a $524 million modification to a $646 million deal for border wall construction in Tucson, Ariz. Southwest also received a $175.4 million deal in February for border wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.


Sep 4, 2019
1 2,679 80
Stupid stupid idea by an equally stupid president.
I lived half of my adult life in American and had an honour and privilege to meet, live , study and get trained by some most amazing people.
I was working in a small town far from Cleveland when 911 happened.
I happened to work on a county judge and we had a little chat about my background just before the 911. A day after 911 happened I received a call in my office from him asking me if I was ok and if I was afraid or worried. He told me to call directly his office if anyone ever bothers me .

Now when I watch TV and see trump and his administration officers I cannot help but wonder what went wrong. Who are these unqualified, crooked and uneducated trolls defending and working for Trump.

The country I remember was not represented by this gang and I pray that people have not changed from what I remember them to be .