Another Border Wall Funding Bill Introduced
By Jennifer G. Hickey | August 10, 2018
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday introduced the Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act, a bill that would fine foreign nations $2,000 for every one of their citizens who is arrested after entering the U.S. illegally.
The money would be redirected from a country’s foreign aid allotment and redirected toward construction of the border wall. In addition, the measure calls for construction of the wall to start by December 2019 and would also restore border agents’ overtime pay to the same rate as other law enforcement agencies within the Department of Homeland Security.
In a statement, Biggs said his bill in part was inspired by the failure of Republicans for failing to secure border wall funding, despite having control of both the House and Senate.
“Some in Congress view border security as leverage for an amnesty deal, but that would turn a crisis into a catastrophe. This is why I introduced the ‘Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act.’ We must keep our promises to the American people. We must fund, start, and complete the border wall without further delay,” argued Biggs.
With President Trump’s threat to shut down the government if the wall is not funded, some Democrats in conservative-leaning states have backed off complete opposition. Two vulnerable Democrat senators – Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota – publicly stated they would back funding to avoid a shutdown.
Biggs’ bill is the latest attempt by individual members to find alternate means of financing a border security wall. In May, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced the Border Wall Trust Fund Act, which “allow the Secretary of the Treasury to accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the United States and Mexico, and for other purposes.”
The measure would allow individuals to donate money for the purposes of planning, designing, constructing and maintaining a wall between the United States and Mexico.