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Katko, Higgins, Pfluger Call Out Consequences of Border Wall Suspension on Small Businesses

July 22, 2021

Katko, Higgins, Pfluger Call Out Consequences of Border Wall Suspension on Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Border Security Subcommittee, and Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, today sounded the alarm on the troubling consequences of the Biden Administration’s suspension of border wall construction.

In addition to undermining our national security, halting border wall construction has adversely impacted American small business owners – causing contractors to potentially lay off employees and face the prospect of bankruptcy.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Katko, Higgins, and Pfluger wrote, “On January 23, 2021, small businesses contracted with the Department were told to stop all work on their projects and placed on standby status. This resulted in equipment becoming idle and many employees being placed on furlough. These employees had already suffered financially during the pandemic and believed they were finally on the road to recovery before the Biden Administration conducted a politically-motivated assault on the livelihoods of them and their families.”

“American small businesses entered into contractual agreements with the United States Government, namely DHS, to build the border wall, but have subsequently been forced to keep their equipment on hold and pay their remaining employees without any revenue. Due to the lack of clarity from DHS, impacted businesses may be forced to lay off employees, or even worse, face the prospect of bankruptcy. To date, they have not received any compensation and are unable to enter into additional contracts for other projects due to their obligations to build the border wall,” the members continued.

Additionally, given reports that DHS will repurpose existing border wall funds, Katko, Higgins, and Pfluger pressed Secretary Mayorkas to justify why DHS has prioritized “soil erosion” and “flood control” above national security at a time when the United States is facing the highest level of illegal border crossings in 21 years.

Read the full letter here.