Politics

Proposed Bill Would Ban Taxpayer Funds For Border Wall

| by Ray Brown

Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin will introduce legislation that would prohibit the federal government from using taxpayer funds to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I am not in favor of the wall, but if there is a wall, then I do not want the United States of America to pay for the wall," Moore told CBS News.

The "No Taxpayer Funding for the Wall Act" is expected to have more than 36 Democratic co-sponsors and Moore said she believes she can get Republicans worried about the high cost to get on board, as well.

"My bill gives amazing opportunities, I think, to people like Jim Jordan to opt out of building the wall," Moore told CBS News, referring to the Republican congressman from Ohio who has expressed concerns over the impact construction of the wall could have on the national budget. "I’m trying to mobilize some interest in my bill from deficit hawks."

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During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump might have supported Moore's bill. The then-Republican presidential candidate ran on a platform that included building the wall at the expense of the Mexican government, not the American taxpayer.

"We will build a great wall along the southern border," Trump said in a speech on immigration in September, according to The New York Times. "And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it. And they’re great people and great leaders but they’re going to pay for the wall. On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, power, beautiful southern border wall."

But since being sworn in as president, Trump has changed his tune about how the proposed wall will be paid for.

The latest attempt to figure out how to pay for the wall, which is expected to cost upwards of $40 billion, includes major cuts to government agencies, according to a draft proposal by the Office of Management and Budget obtained by The Washington Post.

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Those cuts include a 14 percent budget slash to the Coast Guard, as well as 11 percent budget reductions to the Transportation Security Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The Budget prioritizes [U.S. Department of Homeland Security] law enforcement operations, proposes critical investments in front line border security and funds continued development of robust cybersecurity defenses,” the draft said. “The Budget aggressively implements the President’s commitment to construct a physical wall along the southern border.”

Sources: CBS News, The Washington Post, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Tony Webster/Flickr

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