Just before he boarded Air Force One late Wednesday to fly off to Paris for Bastille Day with the French president, President Trump fired out a tweet.
Smart move, because the “Big WIN” got precious little news coverage from the mainstream media, obsessing over a new nothingburger story on Russian collusion.
A House spending bill that quietly moved forward on Tuesday funds all of Trump’s initial $1.6 billion wall plan for the U.S.-Mexican border. The funding comes as part of the fiscal 2018 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.
The plan was released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee and a subcommittee moved the plan forward on Wednesday.
While the plan makes good on one of Trump’s top campaign promises in 2016, it also moves away from another pledge he made on the trail: Mexico will pay for the border wall. But Trump has more recently said the U.S. will pay first and Mexico will reimburse, or fund in other ways.
House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter praised the bill.
“Keeping Americans safe by protecting our homeland is a top priority. This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations,” he said.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman David Lapan said that the new money will go a long way for starting the border wall. “On the DHS side it’s 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 on that,” he said.
“In total, the bill allocates $13.8 billion to customs and border protection. That includes the $1.6 billion for the wall, $100 million to hire 500 more Border Patrol agents, $131 million for new border technology, $106 million for aircraft and sensors and $109 million for ‘non-intrusive inspection equipment,’ ” The Hill reported.