At the same time, Republicans controlling the House Appropriations Committee are making good on promises to reject Trump's proposal to slash medical research at the National Institutes of Health by more than $7 billion.
"Keeping Americans safe by protecting our homeland is a top priority", House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter told the paper. In addition to the wall money, it adds $100 million to hire more border agents and $131 million for new technology. It would not be funded by Mexico, as Trump promised on the campaign trail. "I'll aggressively oppose every single spending bill that doesn't fund the border wall and expose every Republican establishment Senator who sides with the Democrats against our president".
GOP leaders said the $1.6 billion fully meets Mr. Trump's request to begin wall construction, which includes 32 miles of new border fencing in Texas, 28 miles of levee wall along the Rio Grande Valley, also in Texas, and 14 miles of replacement fence in San Diego.
Building the wall, which studies have estimated will cost anywhere from $10 billion to almost $70 billion to complete, was one of Trump's signature promises as a presidential candidate. Lawmakers, however, did not include that funding in the latest government spending bill.
As the first step to deliver on one of his most divisive campaign pledges, the new United States president signed a directive to begin the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico just less than a week after assuming office in Washington.