House bill includes funds for just 28 miles of Trump border wall
President Trump’s famous border wall may be less big and beautiful than he imagined, with a House panel on Tuesday advancing a bill that would allocate funding for just 28 miles of new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Homeland Security bill, which passed the House Appropriations Committee, has $1.57 billion in border infrastructure funds, including $498 million for 28 miles of new levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley, amounting to $17.8 million per mile.
The bill includes another $784 million for 32 miles of new “border fencing” in the area, while $251 million was set aside for 14 miles of “secondary fencing” in San Diego, Calif.
The funding builds on $15 million in funding appropriated for 2017 to replace 40 miles of primary fencing, $102 million for 14 miles in San Diego and $175 million for 24 miles in El Paso, Texas.
The 2018 spending bill, which is in line with the administration’s request, also includes funds for mobile video surveillance systems, ground sensors, towers and funds for combatting cross-border tunnels.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers is doing work to determine the viability of construction on the levees along the Rio Grande.
Trump has dismissed the need to build a wall stretching the entirety of the U.S. border with Mexico, which spans 1,989 miles.
“And remember this, it’s a 2,000-mile border, but you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One during a flight last week.
“You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that. But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles.”
– Rafael Bernal contributed
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