President Donald Trump may not be able to build a massive wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border, but Republicans are touting the latest budget deal as a step toward constructing some semblance of steel and concrete barriers along existing fencing.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pounced on a skeptical question from a Breitbart reporter at his briefing Wednesday and used the moment to start a slideshow of photos offering what a border wall might look like.
He said about a fifth of the funding allotted to the Department of Homeland Security in the spending bill moving through Congress this week will be used to erect a barrier 20 feet high to replace some 40 miles of the current 700-mile border fence along the 1,900-mile border. That 40-mile replacement alone will cost $341.2 million.
Nevertheless, he spun:
“We have a porous border right now with broken fence, things that can be cut through, places that can be driven over. And to replace it with a 20-foot high ballard wall will protect our country. Something that the DHS has designated as the best way to do this. So that’s what we got out of this bill.”
The so-called ballard wall will be made of steel and concrete — or materials that can’t be breached. But at 20-feet high, that’s a far cry from the 55-foot structure Trump proposed during his presidential campaign.
The replacement walls are under construction in Naco, Arizona, and Sunland Park, New Mexico, and Spicer said additional fencing replacements will be underway in:
- San Diego, California
- El Paso, Texas
- Texas’s Rio Grande Valley
The slideshow came after Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s concession on Tuesday that the last budget deal made it “almost impossible … to actually get bricks and mortar on the ground in five months.”
A more thorough budget proposal is due out in May.
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