- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2022

President Biden may oppose building a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, but he’s currently spending nearly $500,000 of taxpayers’ money to construct a barrier around his vacation property at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

In September 2021, the Department of Homeland Security doled out a $455,000 contract to a Sussex County, Delaware, construction company to build a fence around the president’s “Summer White House,” according to USAspending.gov, an online database that tracks government spending.

Construction began last September and was expected to be completed by the end of 2021. However, unknown delays have pushed the expected completion date to June 6, 2023, and ballooned costs to $490,324.

Mr. Biden’s critics mocked the beach house wall.

“So walls work at Joe Biden‘s beach house but not the Southern border?” Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, tweeted the question. 

DHS is listed as the main awarding agency and funding office for the contract, while the U.S. Secret Service is listed as the subagency. No public details about the fence have been released.

The Secret Service declined to comment, saying only that it cannot discuss the “means, methods or resources used to conduct our protective operations.” A Homeland Security spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. 

Mr. Biden arrived at the Rehoboth Beach home on Saturday, the final leg of a two-week vacation that included stops in Charleston, South Carolina, and his residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

It was Mr. Biden’s fifth stay this summer at the Rehoboth Beach getaway.

Upon taking office, Mr. Biden halted the construction of former President Donald Trump’s wall along the southern border. It was part of a relaxed border policy that has seen a surge of migrants across the border into the U.S., according to figures from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agents have made about 1.82 million arrests at the southern border so far this fiscal year, which runs from October to September. That bests the record set last fiscal year, which was 1.66 million in the year ending September 2021.

The number of border arrests, which is an indicator of the volume of border jumpers who avoid apprehension, is poised to break the two million mark for the first time in U.S. history.

Amid criticism for his handling of the border situation, the Biden administration last month approved a plan to complete four gaps in the border wall near Yuma, Arizona.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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