Lawmakers in the House of Representatives stunned Mexico on Thursday after they voted to use American funds to pay for the first installment of the border wall.
This is a massive step in getting president Trump’s biggest campaign promise finished — and he’s promised to make Mexico pay through the massive trade deficit, which is around $50 billion.
Some $1.6 billion in wall money was attached to a security spending bill designed to fund the Pentagon and veterans’ needs. The 230-196 vote saw five Republicans join all Democrats in dissent.
There was no specific vote on the wall itself — a situation that enraged Democrats, who said the GOP was trying to prevent vulnerable members from having to take a specific stand.
Most Republicans said walls have proved to work where they already exist on the border, and said expanding those barriers will be good for the U.S. and Mexico.
“A good fence or wall will make a good neighbor,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican.
The $1.6 billion would pay for 32 new miles of border fence in Texas, 28 miles of levee wall along the Rio Grande Valley, also in Texas, and 14 miles of replacement fence in San Diego.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have said those corridors are most in need of barriers, and said they’ll come back in future years to build other segments.
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