GOP lawmaker proposes legislative maneuver to fund Trump's border wall

GOP lawmaker proposes legislative maneuver to fund Trump's border wall
© Greg Nash

Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneGOP leaders dead set against Roy Moore in Alabama GOP strategist: Alabama Republicans need to 'gather around' candidate who 'is not Roy Moore' The Hill's Morning Report — Combative Trump aims at Pelosi before Russia report MORE (R-Ala.) on Monday announced legislation aimed at allowing Republicans to circumvent Senate Democrats and provide funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg on Mueller report: 'Politically, I'm not sure it will change much' Sarah Sanders addresses false statements detailed in Mueller report: 'A slip of the tongue' Trump to visit Japan in May to meet with Abe, new emperor MORE's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The 50 Votes for the Wall Act, introduced on Friday, would allow Congress to use the budget reconciliation process — which was used to pass the GOP's tax overhaul bill in 2017 — to get around the 60-vote threshold needed to pass legislation in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-49 majority.

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The bill would establish a Border Wall and Security Trust Fund, allowing the secretary of Homeland Security to request up to $25 billion from the U.S. Treasury to construct the barrier and pay for other wall-related expenses.

“Border security is national security, and we cannot allow Democrats to continue to block our efforts to build a wall along our southern border," Byrne said in a statement Monday. "That is why I am introducing the 50 Votes for the Wall Act, which creates a process to overcome the Democrat obstruction and move forward with plans to construct President Donald Trump’s border wall."

By using the reconciliation process, Republicans could dodge a potential partial government shutdown in early December as Democrats are unlikely to support a spending measure that unconditionally funds the wall. In September, President Trump threatened to shut down the government after Congress didn't approve border wall funding. He ultimately opted to keep the government open, pushing the next funding battle until after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Immigration hawks and the administration have made the border wall a top priority, with many highlighting the issue during the midterm campaign.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyWatchdog: Custodial staff alleged sexual harassment in lawmakers' offices John Legend, Chrissy Teigen lash out at Trump at Dem retreat Republicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ MORE (R-Calif.) recently introduced legislation — the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act of 2018 — that would provide an additional $23.4 billion in funding for the border wall, while cutting federal resources for so-called sanctuary cities.