Trump, GOP Crafting Border Wall Plan: Reports
Although Mexico does not want to pay for the wall, Donald Trump and the GOP are attempting to ensure one is installed along America’s southern border.
The Hill reports:
Donald Trump’s team and GOP House lawmakers are working on a plan to build the president-elect’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border using American tax dollars, according to multiple reports.
CNN reported Thursday that Republican leaders hope to fund the wall project through the appropriations process as early as April, citing House GOP officials.
Trump has long promised that Mexico will pay for construction of the wall, although his campaign has also previously said that Mexico will reimburse the U.S. for the project’s costs.
Trump’s team is reportedly citing a 2006 law as authority for building the wall, but how it would be paid for is unclear.
Politico on Thursday reported that the ’06 measure in question was signed by former President George W. Bush and authorized the construction of a more than 700-mile “physical barrier” on the nation’s southern border. The law was never fully implemented and can be continued from where it left off due to its lack of a sunset provision.
Politico reported that Republicans are also looking to pass a larger border security package later in the year.
Republicans told CNN they believe Democrats will relent when faced with a choice between funding the wall or a government shutdown.
CNN’s sources added that notable Democrats including then-Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) voted in favor of the 2006 border legislation.
“[It is] big dollars, but it is a question of priorities,” Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) said. “Democrats may well find themselves in the position to shut down all of the government to stop the buildout of a wall, or of a barrier, or of a fence.”
“It was not done in the Obama administration, so by funding the authorization that’s already happened a decade ago, we could start the process of meeting Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to secure the border,” he said.
The border wall, and Mexico footing the bill, was one of Trump’s major campaign promises, and one he has reiterated since his election.
When Trump met with Mexico’s president in late August, he said during a joint press conference that the issue of the wall never came up. But President Enrique Peña Nieto said after their meeting that he made it clear Mexico would not pay for the wall.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.