Turns out Mexico will definitely not, in no way whatsoever, pay for President Trump’s border wall.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives slipped a federal funding measure for Trump’s wall into another procedural bill to avoid conflict with Democrats who oppose its construction. That measure was approved, opening debate on the some $1.6 billion earmarked for the project.
The wall’s potential funding, as Reuters noted, was tacked onto a bill intended to increase the Defense Department’s budget by $68 billion (to a total of $658.1 billion). Construction for the project would be covered by military’s budget if it is approved by the Senate.
Most lawmakers voted along party lines: the funding legislation passed 235 to 192. Five Republicans voted against the bill and five Democrats voted to approve its passage.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was particular pleased by the spending bill’s approval. “Every single dime the President requested to start building a wall on our southern border he’s going to get,” McCarthy said. “Most importantly, we’re sending more to the VA to fix veterans’ health care and reform outdated VA systems.”
The bill also includes a 5% increase in the budget for veteran affairs funding and 2.4 percent military pay raise, according to The Washington Post.
Senate Democrats are expected to fiercely oppose the bill and perhaps some Republicans. Reuters also spoke to six Republican senators from states that voted for Trump about their support of the bill. All but one, Senator Ted Cruz, disapproved of the “big beautiful wall.”
It’s quite possible that Trump’s border wall could instigate a government shutdown when senators vote in October.