Texas lawmakers are set to introduce legislation that will provide an extra $2.5 billion towards Trump’s planned border wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
State Reps. Kyle Biedermann and Briscoe Cain say they intend to introduce legislation soon that will appropriate the funds from the economic stabilization fund for the state fiscal year ending August 31, 2019.
Breitbart.com reports: The funds would be used, Biedermann tells Breitbart News, “to design, test, construct, and install physical barriers, roads, and technology along the international land border between the State of Texas and Mexico to prevent illegal crossings in all areas.”
Preference for the contracts and awarding of bids, Biedermann added, “for all phases of construction” would be given to Texans and Texas-owned entities.
While this idea is still novel and untested, given the fact that Republicans control the Texas statehouse and Texas state Senate and Texas’ governor Greg Abbott is a strong ally of President Trump’s, this type of plan could actually work in legally acquiring appropriations for a significant portion of what Trump intends to do along the border.
The plan comes as President Trump heads to El Paso, Texas, on Monday evening for a campaign rally in the border town where former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) — the failed 2018 Democrat Senate candidate in Texas, who also is considering a potential 2020 presidential bid — is holding a counter-rally.
It also comes as negotiators on Capitol Hill in Washington, just five days before Friday’s deadline, have reportedly reached an impasse in negotiations over funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government agencies totaling about a quarter of the federal government. Just a few weeks ago, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history — which started at the end of last year and dragged into this year lasting more than a month — ended after Trump agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow negotiators in Congress to attempt to reach a deal.
But the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, run by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is dead set against funding his wall in full, and Democrats and Republicans on the hill have not been able to reach an agreeable dollar number over this nearly completed three-week period. The government will shut down again Friday night if no agreement is reached.
Trump used his State of the Union Address last week to make the case for the wall, and he has also used an Oval Office address and the full bully pulpit power of the presidency to fight for extra border security measures including additional physical barriers. Part of the reason why he is heading to El Paso on Monday is to showcase how the border city has seen a decrease in unlawful crossings from Mexico since a barrier was built there.
Trump is expected to make the case for improving and repairing existing walls or barriers along the border and building new barriers wherever they are needed.
If Congress refuses President Trump’s request for a wall and does not provide funding for it, Trump can use other methods — like declaring a national emergency or turning to the states like Texas for help with an idea like Biedermann’s and Cain’s forthcoming plan — to get the wall built.
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