(CNSNews.com) – The White House considers the 2017 budget “a down payment” on President Donald Trump’s priorities for the 2018 budget, and the 20-foot high steel wall that is being built along the U.S.-Mexico border is the most effective way to stop illegal immigration.
“This is the 2017 budget. This is a down payment on what the president is going to prioritize in the 2018 budget that starts October 1st,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday, adding that the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill is a way to “get the president’s priorities jumpstarted.”
“The idea that we even got a shot at this is something that should have been done last term under President Obama. We have an opportunity to use the last five months of the FY17 budget to get the president’s priorities jumpstarted, so he is using the current bill to get his priorities moving and put it down,” he said.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, the wall is see-through and has already been effective in cutting down on attacks on Border Patrol agents, because they can see when illegal immigrants throw things over the wall at them.
The wall is currently being built in Naco, Ariz., Sunland Park, N.M., and construction will begin on the wall in San Diego, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; and Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
When asked why the administration is so focused on existing border security measures instead of fighting for the wall that he promised, Spicer pointed to photos of the fencing that currently exists along the border.
“This is what exists right now throughout our country. This is the kind of barrier that exists throughout the country. You see a place where cars can literally create little things and drive over. You’ve got places that can get burrowed over. That one they’ve cut through,” he said. “Those images represent our nation’s current border security.”
He referred to a GAO report from this year that said from FY 2010 to FY 2015, there were 9,287 breaches in pedestrian fencing, costing taxpayers $784 repair per breach.
“The bill that is about to get passed – Title VI – which pertains to the Department of Homeland Security’s funding on additional appropriation – states that an additional $497.4 million ‘for procurement, construction, and improvements’ of that total $341.2 million are to – and this is literally what it says in the bill – ‘to replace approximately 40 miles of existing primary pedestrian and vehicle border fencing along the southwest border using previously deployed and operationally effective designs such as currently deployed steel ballard designs that prioritize agent safety.’ So that’s your answer,” Spicer said.
“So you’re basically just telling supporters, the president’s supporters, to be satisfied with this existing tough-guy fencing until he’s ready to build the wall?” a reporter asked.
“No, what I’m telling anybody is that the president said he was going to build the wall and he’s doing it, and he’s using the best technology and what the Department of Homeland Security, under Secretary John Kelly, says is the most effective way to keep people out, to stop drugs, to stop cartels, to stop human trafficking, and to prevent illegal immigration,” Spicer said.
The House on Wednesday passed the omnibus spending bill in a vote of 308 to 118. The bill now goes to the Senate in time for a vote before the midnight Friday deadline.