House Homeland Security Committee Agrees to Fund Border Wall
Last week, Congress took another major step in building the much-promised wall on the United States’ southern border with Mexico.
The House Homeland Security Committee approved legislation that would fund $10 billion of the proposed border wall. For reference, the wall will only cost somewhere between $15 billion and $21.6 billion. In either scenario, this approval would be more than enough to get the construction rolling and foot around half of the cost.
The legislation also specifies that the $10 billion will include a “border wall system” that includes walls, fencing, technology, and additional barriers. Additionally, the Committee approved another $5 billion to hire an additional 5,000 Customs and Border Protection officers as well as 5,000 Border Patrol agents.
Essentially, the legislation will create a physical barrier and beef up security around it.
This is the first major step taken by Congress since July, where the House Appropriations Committee voted to fund Trump’s border wall with $1.6 billion. The additional $10 billion, if passed by Congress, would likely be able to extend the funding to near completion.
Given that the wall will take just over three years to complete, this funding could be pivotal in constructing the border wall before the 2020 election. Democrats will no doubt hammer the President if his campaign promises aren’t met by a thus-far lethargic Republican Congress.
Additionally, if the wall is not started by next year (or even funded), this could spell disaster for Republicans in the midterms.
However, this new development does increase the likelihood that funding for the border wall will be brought to the House floor – but it’s not a sure thing. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has hinted that the President may be looking to trade funding for the border wall for keeping President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.