Trump May Have Taxpayer Money, Not Mexico, Pay For His Wall
That may or may not be the case. CNN reports that Trump's transition team has told congressional Republican leaders that Trump prefers to fund the bill – you guessed it – with American taxpayer money.
How? House Republican officials said Trump wants to fund the wall through the appropriations process as soon as April. On Thursday, Indiana Republican Rep. Luke Messer said, "It was not done in the Obama administration, so by funding the authorization that's already happened a decade ago, we could start the process of meeting Mr. Trump's campaign pledge to secure the border . . . (it’s) big dollars, but it's a question of priorities."
Trump changed his tune in October, when he said Mexico would reimburse the US for the cost of the wall.
Trump believes he has authorization to build the wall because of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the purpose of which was to build a fence 700 miles long on the U.S. Mexico border. The problem is that most of those 700 miles have already been built.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Chuck Schumer, all Democratic senators at the time, voted for the 2006 bill, which leads some Republicans to believe that Democrats would have to support Trump’s efforts to use that bill to buttress his efforts. In January 2008, Congress introduced the Reinstatement of the Secure Fence Act of 2008, which would have ordered Homeland Security to construct an additional 700 miles of two-layered, high fencing along the southwest border. The bill died in committee and was never voted upon.
Still, Trump would need to fund his current version, thus the need to include it in a spending bill, which would balloon the budget by billions of dollars.