$1.6bn border wall proposed by House GOP committee

$1.6bn border wall proposed by House GOP committee
House Republicans on the appropriations committee are ready to deliver their down payment for President Donald Trump’s border wall. They will take the fight to the Democrats, potentially sparking a government shutdown in the fall.

President Trump made a point during the presidential campaign in 2016 of saying that he would build a wall on the southern US border and make Mexico pay for it. The committee released a homeland security bill on Tuesday which includes $1.6 billion to set aside for the border wall. This matches the president’s request of funds to pay for the construction, Politico reported.

The legislation may not advance far enough, however, if Senate Democrats have anything to do with it. They vowed to block a similar attempt earlier this year. But Trump and his director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, have stated that they will not let up on this fight.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), a member of the Freedom Caucus, said, “I am willing to do whatever it takes in the Senate to ensure President Trump’s promise to the American people is kept,” adding, “I’ll aggressively oppose every single spending bill that doesn’t fund the border wall and expose every Republican establishment Senator who sides with the Democrats against our president,” Politico reported.

Democrats have now struck back at Trump’s second attempt to fund the wall through the new homeland bill. Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware) said “there’s no way” that funding will pass the Senate floor with 60 votes, according to Politico.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), considered a conservative-leaning Democrat, has sided with Trump on various other issues, but on the wall, he has remained staunchly against it.

“It’s something I have no interest in. I just think we have so many other pressing problems and I think there’s other ways immigration needs to be treated,” Manchin said, Politico reported.

The controversial wall funding is also anticipated to bring Congress to the brink of a government shutdown.

READ MORE: Trump’s budget slashes $3.6 trillion from domestic programs over 10 years

In May, Trump tweeted: “Our country needs a good shutdown in September to fix mess!” in response to Democrats striking a spending deal with Republicans that did not include funding for the construction.

Mulvaney shortly thereafter clarified the meaning of the president’s tweet at a press conference. He went on to say that the president meant that “we might need a shutdown at some point to drive home that this place, that Washington needs to be fixed,” Federal Times reported.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) have stated that they do not want the government to be shut down due to differences between the House and the Senate.

GOP sources have said that it is unlikely this kind of funding for the border wall will make it through the Senate even if there is a government shutdown in the fall, according to Politico.