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.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS - ANDREW TAYLOR

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.”

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