(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden is doubling down on his administration’s announcement it will allow more border wall construction between the U.S. and Mexico.
The president told reporters he would have rather used the money for more border agents or detecting fentanyl.
“I was told that I had no choice, that I, you know, Congress passes legislation to build something, whether it’s an aircraft carrier or wall or provide for a tax cut,” Biden said Friday. “I can’t say, ‘I don’t like it, I’m not going to do it.’ If this hadn’t been vetoed, it’s the law.”
The president is facing immense pressure from prominent members of his party to stop construction.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., released a statement Thursday condemning the Biden administration’s decision to waive 26 federal laws, thereby allowing border wall construction to resume in Texas.
“The Biden administration was not required to expand construction of the border wall — and they certainly were not required to waive several environmental laws to expedite the building,” the congresswoman said in her statement. “The President needs to take responsibility for this decision and reverse the course.”
NewsNation political contributor Johanna Maska said Biden did the right thing.
“If we were smart about this, we would have a coordinated federal government, local government, state government response that empowers our places of worship,” Maska said during an appearance on “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.” “The people who care very deeply about the human beings who are showing up on our border. … The problem is, it’s political. Right. So Biden is now responding to AOC. And look, I think he did the right thing.”
Republicans are also calling Biden out and accusing him of being hypocritical. GOP lawmakers have relentlessly criticized the White House for the surge of migrants at the border.