While money has been secured in the latest federal government’s omnibus spending bill for border wall work, funding for the entire project remains elusive.
The $1.3 trillion omnibus legislation designed to avert a government shutdown ultimately included money for the construction of a barrier riding the southern border of Texas, as well as new levee walls in the Rio Grande Valley.
But that money is significantly less than what the Trump Administration originally called for when it comes to building one single massive wall.
Included in the spending bill is $445 million for new levee walls, $196 million for bollard-style fencing, also in the Rio Grande Valley, and $38 million for the planning and designing of the border wall.
Altogether, Congress approved just over $1.6 billion in border infrastructure projects, far short of the $25 billion the White House had earlier asked for.
But, according to sources, additional border funding might be secured through the Defense Department’s budget, approved in the same omnibus bill.
That funding totals $700 billion, although it remains uncertain whether any money for the wall could be separated from the military budget without an act of Congress requiring 60 votes in the Senate.
The $1.6 billion included in the spending bill for border projects is limited to what are called “operationally effective designs” already established last year targeting fencing repairs previously approved by Congress.
The proposed border wall itself would comprise up to 900 miles of the nearly 2,000 mile-long border between the U.S. and Mexico.
By Garry Boulard
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