House GOP Proposes $1.6 Billion for Border Wall

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People stand by the U.S.-Mexican border fence at Playas de Tijuana during a Fourth of July gathering on the beach on July 4, 2017, in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

House Republicans are moving on President Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a “big, beautiful wall.” The House Appropriations Committee has met the administration’s ask and included $1.6 billion for construction of a border wall next year in a Homeland Security spending bill, reports Politico. Funding for the wall is almost certainly going to be a nonstarter for Democrats, and could potentially set up the first government-shutdown battle of the Trump era.

The $1.6 billion is still chump change when it comes to the cost of funding the entire wall — which the Department of Homeland Security has estimated at more than $21 billion. That figure is part of a total of $13.8 billion allocated in the spending bill to customs and border protection. In addition to the wall money, it adds $100 million to hire more border agents and $131 million for new technology. According to Bloomberg, another $620 million will also be allocated to immigration enforcement.

Democrats and Republicans reached a deal in May to avert a government shutdown by leaving out such deal-breakers, money for the southern border wall among them. But it seems as if the Trump administration and its GOP allies on Capitol Hill are angling for a fight this time around. (Perhaps this is not a surprise given that the president had tweeted earlier this year that “our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”) It seems safe to conclude that Mexico isn’t paying for the border wall after all. No word about the solar panels, either.

House GOP Proposes $1.6 Billion for Border Wall