In a series of tweets launched by President Trump on Christmas Eve, he stated that his office “just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas.” The mentioned claim became a confused subject given the pending approval from Congress on Mexico border wall funding.
As of now the government shutdown was ended by House of Democrats without addressing President Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion for a wall, which he has recently taken to calling a “steel slat barrier.” The existing partial shutdown is now calling for 64 miles of new border wall construction and one mile of replacement wall in the Rio Grande Valley, awaiting approval from the Congress.
The absence of approval from Congress called for an explanation from the President on his claims regarding rendering a contract to build 115 miles wall in Texas. On which it is been stated that the existing – and possible future – border construction will take place with the awarded money that already has been approved by Congress, but not yet spent by the administration.
As per an officer, the government had authorized – money from the 2017 and 2018 budget years to cover 115 miles of wall, “most of which will be completed by the end of the year.” He further added, “The money is being spent and the wall is being built.”
On further clarifications on the claims of the rendered contract, White House that transferred enquires to the Department of Homeland Security, refrained from disclosing details of any such new contracts.
There have been announcements from Customs and Border Protection for border wall projects in Texas covering a total of 18 miles, including 14 miles of new levee wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley near McAllen, plus the four miles of steel bollard wall construction in El Paso to replace existing chain link fencing.
As of now, no more documents regarding 115 miles of Texas border wall – Trump said he had “just” approved on December 24 – are available publicly. With his last statement, President has doubled down on his contract claim and vowed to follow up with a trip to Texas, later this month.
People and lawmakers are now looking forward to have a positive clarification in the coming month by the President amidst various speculations of it being a hollow boast.
As per the latest updates, President has warned that the partial government shutdown could go on for months or even years, delivering no real breakthrough without approval from the Congress, jeopardizing the governance.