DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF News) — The Trump Administration’s proposed budget calls for spending $2.7 billion for border security including a 74 mile wall separating the U.S. from Mexico, mostly in Texas.
The Department of Homeland Security would receive $1.6 billion to build the wall, most of which would be in the Rio Grande Valley. A 28 mile portion would also serve as a levee in Hidalgo County to control flooding.
During the recent congressional debate over funding the government beyond the end of the current fiscal year the White House backed down from insisting the wall be included in the bill. Tuesday, however, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the Austin American-Statesman, “We are absolutely dead serious about the wall. …it is absolutely a priority for the president.”
Opposition to the plan is still strong. Estimates of the eventual cost of the wall run from $15 billion to $25 billion. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, is skeptical about the president’s oft-repeated intent of having Mexico pay for the wall: “Putting taxpayers on the hook to pay for it is just the latest brick in a wall of broken campaign promises. If we are going to pour billions into concrete, it ought to be an investment in ourselves, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.”
House and Senate Republicans do have the votes to approve the border security plan voting goes along party lines.
Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn chaired a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration. During the hearing he said, “If we really want to secure our borders, and I think the voters in this last presidential election indicated they did, we must be willing to devote the necessary level of funding to achieve it.”