Top Dem: Trump's wall could cost $67B

Top Dem: Trump's wall could cost $67B
© Getty Images

President Trump’s proposed wall could cost nearly $67 billion to build, according to a projection from the top Senate Democrat overseeing the agency tasked with securing the U.S.-Mexican border.

“That amounts to over $200 for every American,” Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats turn on Al Franken Trump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Mo.) wrote Tuesday in a letter to the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

McCaskill’s projection comes after a closed-door briefing during which border officials told the senator’s staff the Trump administration will request $2.6 billion from the 2018 budget to “construct fewer than 75 miles of new border wall.” That comes out to $36.6 million per mile, according to the senator’s calculations.

ADVERTISEMENT
The completed wall could stretch 1,827 miles across the border with Mexico, according to the border officials.

At the current rate, McCaskill projected the cost to complete construction of the Wall would be $66.9 billion.

“It is concerning that the cost of construction could also be significantly higher, as the cost of acquiring land currently owned by private individuals was not included in the estimate,” she wrote.  

“Regardless, the $36.6 million per mile figure is the only information, and the closest to a cost estimate that the committee has obtained from [the Department of Homeland Security],” she added.

By comparison, the cost of constructing the wall would be about 50 percent more than the annual budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that would be tasked with building it.

In February, the Department of Homeland Security estimated the wall would cost $21.6 billion to build, according to Reuters. The new figures would more than triple the projected cost. 

Projections from the president and Republican lawmakers have ranged from $12 billion to $15 billion. 

On the lower end, the National Precast Concrete Association estimated the wall would cost closer to $8 billion to construct.