WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott spoke on the Senate floor in support of his and Senator Joni Ernst’s Border’s Unused Idle and Lying Dormant Inventory Transfer (BUILD IT) Act. The BUILD IT Act would require the federal government to transfer any material associated with the construction of the southern border barrier to any state, upon request, for the materials’ original purpose.
In January 2021, President Biden terminated construction of the southern border wall. Since President Biden’s order to cease construction of the southern border barrier went into effect, the federal government began paying contractors over $3 million a day to look over unused border material, according to a report by the Minority Staff of the Government Operations and Border Management (GOBM) Subcommittee, a part of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. It is estimated that roughly one quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer-funded materials are sitting on our southern border, yet Democrats blocked its passage.
Watch Senator Rick Scott’s speech HERE or below. Read Senator Scott’s remarks as prepared for delivery below.
“Mr. President, the crisis at the United States’ southern border is raging out of control. Unlike Joe Biden, I’ve traveled down to the southern border to hear from local leaders, law enforcement and our brave border patrol agents. I had the opportunity to talk with border patrol in Arizona and Texas, and listened as they told me about how hard their job has become thanks to Joe Biden’s radical open border policies.
Let me just say that these men and women are absolute heroes. In places like Yuma, border patrol agents are encountering illegal migrants every day, some of whom are dangerous criminals, traffickers, drug cartel members or even terrorists. Others are just families, victimized by the cartels. I encountered a family from Haiti during my last visit. I watched them cross the border through a massive hole in the border wall caused by Joe Biden’s decision not to complete the already paid-for wall.
These families are victims of the cartels. Once in America, many of them live a life of indentured servitude and debilitating debt in which they have to send nearly all of their money back to the savage cartels. These people and their families are owned by the cartel and Joe Biden is letting it happen. Many of the children are trafficked, made to pose as the children of people they don’t know. And we know that so many women and children who make this journey are brutally victimized and raped. But still, the cartels push these families over the border. It’s all money to them. Joe Biden is making the cartels richer. That’s what our brave border patrol is up against. What makes you mad is that while all this is happening, massive piles of supplies to complete the border wall – All ALREADY PAID FOR BY AMERICAN TAXPAYERS – are just sitting in piles in the desert going to waste. The Biden administration refuses to use these materials because they want an open border. Secretary Mayorkas testified in the Homeland Security Committee that the border is closed. REALLY? LOOK AT EL PASO!
Mr. President – I told Secretary Mayorkas that he might be the only person in America that actually believes the border is secure. He’s it. The truth, as many of my colleagues and I know and have seen with our own eyes, is that the border is WIDE OPEN. Since Joe Biden took office, more than 5 MILLION people have illegally crossed our southern border. And I’m afraid it’s about to get a lot worse with President Biden allowing Title 42 to end. Thank God the Supreme Court kept Title 42 in place for now at least. We are hearing reports that up to 18,000 people a day will be illegally storming across our border EVERY DAY once Title 42 is lifted – and Biden still DOESN’T HAVE A PLAN. Don’t forget, the Obama-Biden administration once said that just 1,000 attempted crossings per day would be a crisis…so what does President Biden call 18,000 per day? It’s his call to make…he created this disaster.
So, that’s why I’m here with my good friend from Iowa, Senator Joni Ernst. We think it’s time to end the madness on the southern border and if Joe Biden won’t do his job, we should let the states take care of it. I was a governor, so I may be a bit biased, but I think governors know what works best for their states way better than the federal government here in Washington. Remember I mentioned the massive piles of wall material that the Biden administration refuses to use? Our bill, the BUILD IT Act, would force the federal government to transfer any material associated with the construction of the southern border barrier to any state, upon request, so these states can do what Joe Biden refuses to do: FINISH THE WALL
As Senator Ernst has noted, since President Biden’s order in January 2021 to cease construction of the southern border barrier went into effect, the federal government began paying contractors over $3 million a day to look over unused border material. It is estimated that roughly one quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer-funded materials are sitting on our southern border. So instead of just doing his job, upholding our laws and securing the border, President Biden is burning $3 MILLION of YOUR tax dollars every day so people can babysit wall material that he refuses to use.
By passing this good bill today, we’re giving states the ability to provide what Biden has failed to deliver: border security and a fighting chance to get this massive humanitarian and national security crisis under control. In Florida we’re proud to be an immigration state. We love immigration, but it has to be legal. Illegal immigration threatens our safety, undermines our legal process and hurts those who have are waiting to come through legal channels. But under Biden’s system of open borders and illegal immigration, we’re seeing dangerous individuals trying to come into this country and drugs are POURING ACROSS THE BORDER. MORE THAN 100,000 AMERICANS HAVE DIED FROM FENTANYL AND OPIOID OVERDOSES IN THE LAST YEAR AND MORE ARE DYING EVERY DAY.
Our Democrat colleagues do not have the luxury of ignoring this crisis any longer. American families cannot take this loss and heartbreak due to incompetence in Washington any longer. WE MUST ACT TO SECURE THE BORDER NOW. Floridians and all Americans want to live in safe communities where their families can thrive and prosper. Unfortunately Joe Biden's policies of open borders and amnesty have been a total disaster for our nation. He has laid out the welcome mat for traffickers and cartel members, and has ignored U.S. laws designed to keep American families safe. We can't let this stand any longer, because the American people deserve better. I hope our colleagues will stand with me Senator Ernst today to pass this bill, then we can work with the Republican House to start truly addressing this crisis, before it’s too late.”