Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Masks and vaccines: What price freedom? MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that while he supports additional barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border, he believes some of the estimated costs for President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE’s border wall are too high to justify.
"I remain a fiscal conservative, even on the wall, so I’m not excited about spending $20, $30, $40 billion on a wall. I’m still a believer that we don’t have money to spend. We’re $700 billion in the hole,” Paul said on CNN.
“And while I will vote for money for barriers, I’m not voting for $40 billion for barriers,” Paul added.
A report last week detailed Trump’s plan to ask Congress for $18 billion to fund a wall along the border. A wall was among his signature campaign promises.
The Trump administration is seeking $33 billion in total to increase southern border security, with the remaining $15 billion going to fund technology, personnel and other improvements.
Another $8.5 billion over seven years would be used to pay for 5,000 new Border Patrol agents.
Paul said Wednesday he supports having barriers in certain locations along the border, but that the price tag of those barriers should be debated. He also advocated for using technology to improve border security, which he argued is a cheaper alternative.
"The barriers, I think we need to look at the cost of them. The people advocating for it are forgetting they’re fiscally conservative and are just giving enormous numbers,” Paul added.
Lawmakers met Tuesday to discuss immigration, including border security and the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump has said funding for the border wall is a requirement for his agreement on a legislative fix for DACA, which allows certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to live and work in the country without fear of deportation.