White House Budget Thin On Support For Border Wall

Mexico border wall Getty Images/John Moore

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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The Trump administration’s 2018 budget unveiled Monday calls for a fraction of what the government has estimated a southwestern border wall would cost.

The budget proposal isn’t final, and Republican Sen. John Cornyn said that all presidents’ budgets are “dead on arrival.” Budget director Mick Mulvaney, however, told reporters Tuesday that “these numbers” represent “the president’s policies put onto paper.”

The proposed budget includes $1.6 billion towards to building a wall. A February internal Department of Homeland Security memo estimated the cost of a wall at $21.6 billion, according to a Reuters report. The DHS said that the White House budget would only fund 60 miles of a new border wall and 14 miles of wall that would replace existing fencing in San Diego. This would cost over $1.5 billion, just an additional $38 million is allocated towards planning for future border wall construction.

President Trump on the campaign trail ran on the promise that Mexico would pay for the border wall, however, the rhetoric since his inauguration would be that Congress would fund it and Mexico would have to reimburse the U.S.

Mulvaney stressed Tuesday that the administration remains “dead serious about the wall.” He added that the administration hasn’t “decided on the best kind of wall.” President Trump has called for a concrete wall along the entire border, however, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said construction of a wall from sea-to-sea is doubtful.