Biden stumbles over response to question about border wall funding

President Biden appeared to stumble Friday when asked by a reporter about his administration’s resumption of border wall construction in Texas, telling a reporter that “we tried to ask the Congress to consider changing the law,” one day after saying that he had merely tried to “redirect” money for the project.  Biden and his administration have been facing scrutiny after the Department of Homeland Security posted an announcement this week in the Federal Register that outlined construction of a border wall in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Texas, where the administration says there is “high illegal entry.” The funds for the project, White House officials say, were appropriated in 2019 during the Trump administration. When asked by a reporter what he had specifically tried to do to get funds reappropriated, particularly when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate earlier in his term, the president did not provide detail. “Oh, the wall thing?” he asked. “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 when asked by a reporter about what he had done to try to reappropriate funds for the border wall. “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.”  When reminded that the previous day he had said that he had tried to reappropriate funds, Biden stated that he had asked Congress to make the change. JEAN-PIERRE CLAIMS BIDEN IS HELPLESS AGAINST ADMINISTRATION’S OWN BORDER WALL; PRESIDENT BELIEVES IT WON’T WORK  “We tried to ask the Congress to consider changing the law, to reappropriate it . . . use it for other purposes,” Biden continued. “Give me more border agents, give me more technical capabilities to detect fentanyl and the like. That’s what I want to do.”  MAYORKAS BACKTRACKS ON TEXAS BORDER WALL HOURS AFTER DHS CITES ‘IMMEDIATE NEED’  When asked for clarification on what Biden meant by “changing the law,” the White House did not provide a direct answer but referred Fox News Digital to a June 2021 White House fact sheet outlining how the administration wanted to redirect border wall funds.  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during her briefing Thursday that Biden does not agree with wall construction, but cannot change it.  “He doesn’t believe the border wall is effective,” she said. “We are complying by the law. DHS is complying by the law,” Jean-Pierre added. “But that appropriation came from fiscal year 2019 under the last administration, Republican leadership. And that’s what you’re seeing now.”  Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and Louis Casiano contributed to this report. 
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