NEW YORK (Dec 20, 2018) — President Donald Trump, expressing support for $5 billion wall along the US-Mexico border Thursday, said he won’t sign a stopgap spending bill in its current form because it doesn’t include enough funding for border security.
“At this moment there is a debate over funding border security and the wall,” he said during a signing ceremony for a separate farm bill.
“I have made my position very clear. Any measure that funds the government must include border security, has to. Not for political purposes, but for our country, for the safety of our community.”
His remarks came after a meeting with House Republicans over the short-term spending bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Trump doesn’t plan to sign the bill in its current form.
Trump’s refusal throws a wrench in Congress’ plans to pass the bill, which would avert a government shutdown the deadline for which is Friday. Earlier this month, the president said he would be “proud” to shut down the government if the spending bill doesn’t include the $5 billion in funding he requested to build a border wall.
“The president informed us he will not sign the bill,” Ryan said after meeting with Trump at the White House.
“We have very serious concerns about securing our border. The president said, ‘I will not sign this bill.’ So we’re going to go back and work on adding border security to this,” Ryan added.
The economics of Trump’s wall
The border between the United States and Mexico stretches 1,989 miles (3,200km), but the wall itself needn’t be as long thanks to the preponderance of natural borders such as the Rio Grande. Assuming a length of 1,000 miles and a height of 40 feet (12 meters), the total cost could be between $15 billion and $25 billion–a bit more than Mr Trump’s suggested $10 billion, according to a report from Bernstein Research.
Building materials companies are poised to profit if Donald Trump builds his wall. Bernstein reckon that the wall would require $711m worth of concrete and $240m worth of cement.