"There was a time in the not too far distant past when this committee cared for facts, data and results", said Ranking Member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
The bill marked up in the House Homeland Security Committee Wednesday would put $10 billion toward "tactical infrastructure" (including a "border wall system) and would give the government more legal authority to take private land for the wall - instead of getting tied up in lawsuits from landowners that can take a decade or more to resolve". It includes $10 billion for building a physical barrier "where practical" as well as $5 billion to shore up the ports of entry - Texas has 29, more than any other state - and provides for the hiring of 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 5,000 more Customs and Border Protection agents.
In a notice of intent to file suit, the association cites a July 2017 encounter between Mission-based National Butterfly Center Executive Director Marianna Treviño Wright and U.S. Customs and Border Protection contractors.
The committee adopted an amendment by U.S. Rep.
Although the bill is expected to be approved in the House of Representatives, where Republicans have a majority, it faces hurdles in the Senate, where it would require 60 votes to pass. "I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers to get this bill to the president's desk so we can finally provide the American people with the security they have long demanded and deserve".
Trump has insisted the wall - a campaign staple and a popular refrain during his rallies - will still be built, and that Mexico will pay for it. But because the Trump administration is trying to use them to fill the president's best-known campaign promise, they're getting labeled a "wall" - and Democrats have no desire to help Trump build his wall.
McCaul smiled and said "I appreciate the gentleman's creativity in this amendment", before voting against it.
Her proposal would force a substantial part of investments in border security, such as control centers, to be installed in the border, rather than remotely. The bill will now head to the House floor for debate, but experts say the full cost could come out to about $22B.