A top Republican representative has introduced a bill that would fully fund President Donald Trump's long-sought border wall, as Republicans gear up for a battle over the issue after midterm elections, according to The Hill.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced the "Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act," which would make $5.5 billion in border wall funding available immediately and allocate $23.4 billion overall.
"For decades, America's inability to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration has encouraged millions to undertake a dangerous journey to come here in violation of our laws and created huge loopholes in the legal channels we use to welcome immigrants to our country," McCarthy said.
How would it work?
The bill would take funding from the Department of Homeland Security's budget, which means significant cuts would have to be made to fund it.
More than $16 billion of that total amount would pay for physical barriers, while the rest would "cover technology, operations and other infrastructure costs" according to The Hill.
The amount would bring funding up to the $25 billion Trump has asked for from Congress for the wall. So far, Congress only appropriated $1.6 billion for border security.
"President Trump's election was a wake-up call to Washington," McCarthy said. "The American people want us to build the wall and enforce the law."
The bill, according to McCarthy's statement, also "combats sanctuary cities, transnational gangs like MS-13, human trafficking, and deadly drugs like fentany" and supports Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Congressional Republicans have worked to avoid a government shutdown in advance of midterms, preferring instead to throw down over the border wall in December.
"We intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border and we will have a big fight about it," said House Speaker Paul Ryan. "We'll figure out how to do it in December."
McCarthy is seeking to replace Ryan as Speaker of the House when Ryan steps down at the end of the year.