House Republicans have reportedly set aside $1.6 billion to begin building President Trump's border wall with Mexico.
According to CBS News, "The allocation is part of a $44.3 billion funding bill released Tuesday that would fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1."
Bloomberg reports that Texas Representative John Carter, chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee, has since issued a statement saying, "This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations."
Initial projects are said to include the construction of about 60 total miles of new structures in Texas and extensive replacement work in San Diego. It would also help pay for the hiring of around 1,500 border patrol and ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, staff as well as immigration-related training for local authorities, notes the Washington Times.
Despite the plan, Democrats are expected to try and block the measure, with many arguing that it is a waste of money and does not make the U.S. safer.
Even some Republican lawmakers, including those in Texas, have expressed their reservations over the wall's total cost—estimated to range from $15 billion to more than $21 billion—and suitability over such variable terrain.