To see how this announcement fits into the timeline of border wall construction, click here.
- In order to avoid another government shutdown, Congressional lawmakers have agreed to allocate almost $1.4 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the Associated Press reported, which is a significant reduction from the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump said he needed for the border security he envisioned.
- The money would pay for approximately 55 miles of new barrier construction and would also represent a concession on the part of Democrats, some of whom vowed to not approve even a single dollar for the project. The president's original request would have paid for the construction of approximately 230 miles of wall.
- “The tentative agreement,” said U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), "represents a path forward for our country — away from another round of fraught negotiations up against a government funding cliff, away from a dreaded government shutdown. The president, The New York Times reported, is not happy with the deal and has not said whether he will sign off on the agreement. He did indicate, however, that another shutdown is not likely.
President Trump has also hinted that he will pursue alternative funding options for the wall. Earlier this year, Stars and Stripes reported that the Pentagon was reviewing its roster of construction projects in anticipation of the possibility that the president would declare a national emergency and use money from the military’s capital budget to pay for border wall construction.
Only money that hasn’t yet been allocated would be available to the administration. Between the current fiscal year’s budget and funds from previous years, there would reportedly be approximately $23 billion available to the president to use at the border but only if he could make the case that an emergency situation exists there.
Meanwhile, public opinion seems to be split on whether the U.S. should pursue the president's wall agenda, and that includes those in charge of the public agencies that award state and local construction contracts.
Since President Trump made clear his intentions to build a barrier along the country’s border with Mexico, some state and local legislators have limited opportunities for companies that would participate in wall construction.
San Francisco was the first city to propose banning wall contractors from doing business with city agencies, and other California cities like Oakland and Berkeley have followed suit. New York City; Tucson, Arizona; and Austin, Texas have also put punitive measures in place.
In one of the latest moves to penalize construction companies participating in the building of a border wall, some New Mexico lawmakers have put their support behind a bill that would prevent those contractors from doing business with state agencies.