Some House Republicans are saying President-elect Donald Trump wants Congress to authorize taxpayer funds for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Trump said numerous times that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico has never agreed to pay the billions of dollars it would likely cost.
Republicans have told CNN that Trump's transition team has signaled that it wants funds by April.
Trump's team and Republican leaders are eyeing a 2006 law to build a "physical barrier" more than 700 miles long on the border, notes Politico.
The 2006 Secure Fence Act was signed by former President George W. Bush, and did not include a time limit, so Trump could theoretically build his wall, but would have to get taxpayer money to do it, unless Mexico suddenly has a change of heart.
Republican Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana believes that Democrats will have a hard time opposing Trump's wall:
There’s already in existing law the authorization for hundreds of miles of build out on the southern border … so, one important step in the right direction will be funding the existing law and beginning the building out of hundreds of miles of wall, or fence, on the southern border.
If tied to the rest of government funding, it’s much harder for the Democrats to stop, and by the way, I think it’s much harder for Democrats to vote against it if what you’re doing is authorizing funding for an existing law.
Trump's wall idea has become a symbol of racism for many.
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana refused to say on Jan. 5 if Americans would have to pay for the wall, notes CNN:
We want President Trump to have all the tools he needs to build the wall. We're in talks with him on the details of it as they're still putting together their team. We still got a few months before there's another funding bill that's going to move. We're going to work with him to make sure we can get it done. We want to build a wall. He wants to build a wall.