US Congress to allocate $1.6 billion for Trump Wall construction


Funding for the wall is nearly certainly going to be a nonstarter for Democrats, and could potentially set up the first government-shutdown battle of the Trump era.

According to John Carter, a Chairman of Homeland Security Subcommittee, this bill provides funding for the start of the wall construction, extending the existing infrastructure of the U.S. -Mexico border security, The Hill writes. In addition to the wall money, it adds $100 million to hire more border agents and $131 million for new technology.

House Republicans are proposing to allocate $1.6 billion for the next fiscal year to fund "physical barrier construction" on the U.S. -Mexico border. Democrats have said they will fight the inclusion of spending on the border wall and successfully did so during a spat over spending in April that almost resulted in a government shutdown around the end of Trump's first 100 days in office.

Democrats objected to the funding, and significant opposition also surfaced among Republicans.

House leaders have not said if they would risk a shutdown fight over funding for the border wall, but called the money a "top priority".

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"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.

"On the DHS side, it's very clear that we've gotten a direction to secure the southern border, that a wall and barrier is part of that process - along with people and technology - and that funding from Congress is required for us to move forward with that, so it is important for us to get the money that's included in the budget", Lapan said.

The construction of a southern border wall was a key promise made during the president's campaign for the White House. Earlier Tuesday, Lapan said that Kelly did not raise the prospect of Mexico paying for the wall when he was in Mexico last week meeting with officials.

Including border funding could help House Speaker Paul Ryan head off an uprising among conservative Republicans.

With Republican leaders wary of a shutdown, the clash over the border wall is more likely to lead to a stopgap spending bill in September that may end up putting the government on autopilot for a year.