Trump’s Border Wall Request Equals 0.1% of Federal Spending; House Appropriators Offer $0

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 7, 2019 | 11:54am EST
An incomplete section of border fencing near Fort Hancock, Texas, Oct. 14, 2016. (Getty Images/John Moore)
An incomplete section of border fencing near Fort Hancock, Texas, Oct. 14, 2016. (Getty Images/John Moore)

( - The $5,000,000,000 that President Donald Trump has requested Congress appropriate for border-wall construction along the southwestern border in fiscal 2020 equals just 0.1 percent of the $4,745,573,000,000 that the Office of Management and Budget estimates the federal government will spend in total during the fiscal year.

The fiscal 2020 Department of Homeland Security funding bill that the House Appropriations Committee has approved, however, provides $0 for the wall.

“High priority 2020 budget investments,” said the budget proposal the White House sent to Congress, “include $5 billion for the construction of border wall, and $506 million to hire over 2,800 additional law enforcement officers and critical support personnel at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”

On June 11, the House Appropriations Committee approved its bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal 2020 (which started on Oct. 1). This bill would authorize DHS to spend a total of $63,811,000,000 during the fiscal year.

But the committee’s report on the bill said: “No funding is provided in the bill for new physical barriers along the southwest border.”

Specifically, the text of Section 227 of the bill said: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be used for the construction of physical barriers along the southern land border of the United States during fiscal 2020.”

The committee’s report also said: “The recommendation provides no funding for additional Border Patrol Agents.”

The $5,000,000,000 President Trump has requested for construction of the border wall in fiscal 2020 equals 0.1 percent of the $4,745,573,000,000 that the OMB estimates the federal government will spend in total in fiscal 2020.

By contrast, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved and sent to the full Senate a DHS funding bill that says: “$5,000,000,000 is for the construction of pedestrian fending.”

Neither the House nor Senate has passed the DHS appropriations bill for fiscal 2020 even though the fiscal year began more than five weeks ago. DHS is currently being funded by a continuing resolution that will fund the government until it expires on November 21.


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