President Donald Trump has pushed for his border wall to be painted black to make the barrier scarier and hotter to the touch. Now, the president will get his wish—and the cost is stunning.
According to Mic, the Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the Fisher Sand and Gravel construction company a $1.28 billion contract to build just over 40 miles of the black-painted fence through southern Arizona. The contract was finalized on May 6.
The contract includes a $1.2 million price increase per mile in order to fulfill Trump’s demand for the wall to be painted black.
Last year the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Fisher with a $400 million contract. That agreement is still under audit by the Department of Defense’s Inspector General Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee and raised concerns that the contract had been awarded as a result of “inappropriate influence.”
Thompson criticized this contract, saying the Trump administration should pause construction until the audit concludes.
“It speaks volumes to the administration’s lack of transparency that they didn’t announce this award—the largest ever—and we continue to learn about contracts to companies without a proven track record from the media,” Thompson said in a released statement.
“Given the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing investigation into Fisher, the administration should pause construction and contracting decisions until the investigation has concluded favorably and it is safe to resume nonessential construction projects.”
According to the Customs and Border Protection website, less than 200 miles of the border has been constructed so far.
Trump is fighting battles on several fronts as he deals with the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus death toll is likely to hit 100,000 in the next few days. At the same time, a death clock in Times Square shows how many deaths in the U.S. could’ve been prevented if Trump’s administration acted faster. Additionally, Trump is down in national polls to Democratic candidate Joe Biden and is trying to push a Barack Obama conspiracy theory.