President Donald Trump’s administration has only a fraction of the money it needs to fulfill the president’s signature campaign promise, a border wall with Mexico.
According to TheHill.com, government ethics watchdog group Pro Publica reported on Thursday that the administration only has enough money on hand to build 7 miles of a wall that is purportedly going to be 1,000 miles long.
“Although estimates to build the wall soar past $20 billion,” wrote Pro Publica’s T. Christian Miller, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency “has so far managed to scrape together only about $20 million, according to its top contracting official. The rest of the cash will have to come from Congress, which so far has proven reluctant to foot the bill.”
Parts of be border currently feature fortified walls to impede the flow of migrants back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico. Those walls cost around $2.8 million per mile, said Pro Publica, and — according to CNN — they are believed to be largely ineffective, but no one knows for sure because CBP has made no effort to establish a metric for its success and the agency is not currently tracking how many migrants traverse that portion of the border at any given time.
“The wall was one of President Trump’s signature campaign promises,” said TheHill.com. “Trump asked for $2.6 billion for the wall in his federal budget blueprint last month. He’s also asked for an additional $1.5 billion in a supplemental spending measure for fiscal 2017.”
Congressional Republicans have been tepid in their reception of plans for the border wall since it became clear that Mexico — contrary to Trump’s campaign rhetoric — would not be paying for it.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in an interview at the end of March that the GOP caucus has no intention of including funds for the border wall in the coming year’s budget.