Bill includes $1.6 billion for wall
During last year’s campaign, Trump vowed that Mexico would pay for the wall, but he’s never come up with a plan to deliver on that promise.
WASHINGTON — A House panel Tuesday unveiled legislation to begin building President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S-Mexico border.
Mexico, however, will not be footing the bill, as Trump has repeatedly promised.
The move by the House Appropriations Committee again puts the Trump administration and its allies on Capitol Hill on a collision course with Democrats who oppose the wall and succeeded in blocking a request by Trump to deliver the money when passing an omnibus spending measure earlier this spring.
Democrats objected to the funding and significant opposition also surfaced among Republicans. Administration officials and congressional Republicans took a pass on forcing the issue in May, but some vowed to fight for the wall this summer and fall.
During last year’s campaign, Trump vowed that Mexico would pay for the wall, but he’s never come up with a plan to deliver on that promise. Instead, the $1.6 billion down payment for the wall will be added to the government’s almost $20 trillion debt.
The wall money is embedded in a $ 44 billion homeland security funding bill released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. A House appropriations subcommittee is scheduled to give the measure preliminary approval today. GOP leaders hope to pass the measure before adjourning for the August break.
The dispute over funding the wall is a key obstacle to funding government agency operations for the budget year beginning Oct. 1, and some conservatives have threatened to shut the government down if the wall is not included.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., has raised the threat as part of his GOP primary campaign against Sen. Luther Strange, threatening to filibuster any funding bill that fails to include money for the wall project.
Democrats quickly signaled they’re eager for the fight.
“Once again, Republicans are trying to put American taxpayers on the hook for the multibillion dollar boondoggle President Trump swore Mexico would pay for,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “Trump’s immoral, ineffective and expensive wall is strongly opposed by Democrats and by many Republicans as well.”