Spending for Border Wall Could Reduce Funding for Other Federal Programs

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee are insisting that any spending on a border wall with Mexico be offset by funding cuts to other federal programs, which could include vital affordable housing and homelessness programs. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) estimate it will cost $15 million to build the wall, but other estimates suggest the cost could be as high as $25 billion.

President Donald Trump, who promised to build the wall throughout his campaign and have Mexico pay for it, will submit a supplemental appropriations request to Congress later this year after the Senate confirms Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Ryan promised Congress would take up the request “before the end of the current fiscal year,” which runs through the end of September. 

“We will need to find funding for that wall, and that will have to come from offsets,” stated Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID), one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Both Mr. Ryan and Mr. McConnell would not commit to offset spending on the wall, which Democrats and some Republicans say is a waste of taxpayer money and an ineffective solution for securing America’s borders.