In what is shaping up to be another embarrassing legislative retreat, the Republicans are expected to cut funding for Donald Trump’s promised southern border security wall from the budget.
At the end of March, Trump submitted a formal request for $1.4 billion for the first 62 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. To “Build The Wall,” of course, was a central promise of his campaign and one on which most Republican lawmakers seemed to support him. However, Paul Ryan has now made clear that the GOP will not take the first opportunity, a spending bill to be finalized this month, to include funding for the initial stages of the new security fence.
Like the Obamacare repeal and replace effort , Ryan promised that his party would eventually come to agreement and find a way to get Trump’s agenda passed. But a chorus of voices from both sides of the aisle are making such optimism look about as convincing as the former vow.
The biggest hurdle for the right is the sheer cost of the wall, which a February Department of Homeland Security report estimated could be as much as $21.6 billion. Other estimates have put the cost at nearly double that amount. Another concern raised by lawmakers is disruption of the lives of those living on the border, with the project expected to take nearly four years to complete, while others have complained that the wall will hurt relations with Mexico.