Critics say that existing fencing is more than enough and that the portions of the border without it are too remote for crossings and that tribal law, environmental requirements, and personal property rights have blocked fencing for most of the rest. To avoid having those Republicans who oppose the measure vote on it directly House Republican leaders tucked it into a procedural measure that set the debate plan for the so-called "minibus" funding bill for several federal agencies.
The $1.6 billion is allocated for the construction of three segments of the wall on the United States border with Mexico, including $784 million for 32 miles of new border fencing and $498 million for 28 miles of levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas; another $251 million would go to building back-up fencing in the heavily fortified San Diego area, AP reported.
Two of the five House Republicans who voted against bringing the $1.6 billion in wall funding up for a vote represent districts along large swaths of the border - Rep. That averages $21 million per mile. But he vows to obtain the money in the current round of spending bills, for the fiscal year beginning in October, and the impasse could lead to a government shutdown later this year.
With the House moving ahead with funding for a segment of Trump's envisioned wall, some lawmakers were pushing for a different direction. "I remember, 'Mexico's going to pay for this wall.' And now taxpayers are paying for it".
Why Donald Trump's Self-Inflicted Wounds Will Matter Most In His Eventual Downfall
When nine Republicans voted with Democrats to kill a draconian bill, he singled out Alaska's Lisa Murkowski for denunciation. Investigators want to know if Trump colluded with Russian Federation and was influenced, bribed, even blackmailed by them.
"Nobody would know it from the President's hysterical rhetoric, but there are already 700 miles of fence down there on the border - vehicular fencing, pedestrian fencing", said Rep. David Price, D-N.C. "I know about it because most of that fencing was built when I was chairman of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee".
Trump's pending and partial request doesn't excite the most determined supporters of the wall. House Republicans are responding by adding even more for defense but have significantly scaled back Trump's cuts to domestic programs like community development grants and medical research. Much of the remaining 1,300 miles is very rough terrain, with steep construction costs and a limited return for the dollar.
"The people in our administration, the president excluded, are looking at a diminished, not very aggressive approach to the wall", said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. "If we're going to have a 2,000-barrier, put that plan together". "And one of those things that is working is a wall in the big cities".
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