Bradley Byrne looks to fund Trump’s border wall through budget reconciliation process

Mexico-US border

Alabama 1st District U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne announced Monday he has introduced legislation that would help President Donald Trump secure the necessary funding to build the border wall with Mexico.

Byrne’s bill, H.R. 7073, better known as the 50 Votes for the Wall Act, would use the budget reconciliation process secure the necessary $25 billion needed to build the wall, which would side-step a threatened filibuster by Senate Democrats. Budget reconciliation allows bills to pass out of the Senate with only 50 votes, while almost all other Senate bills require 60 votes. Budget reconciliation was the same process used to pass tax reform last year. The bill would also fully fund the border wall, eliminating the possibility that Democrats could bottle up funding in future appropriations bills, and direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to finalize construction before the beginning of President Trump’s second term.

“Border security is national security, and we cannot allow Democrats to continue to block our efforts to build a wall along our southern border,” explained Byrne. “That is why I am introducing the 50 Votes for the Wall Act, which creates a process to overcome the Democrat obstruction and move forward with plans to construct President Donald Trump’s border wall.

He continued, “Sixty-three million Americans voted for President Trump with the promise of building a wall because they want us to finally secure our borders. With the 50 Votes for the Wall Act, we can make the wall a reality and ensure the safety of the American people.”

The bill would create Border Wall and Security Trust Fund, allowing it to be filled with up to $25 billion “out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as the Secretary of Homeland Security may request of the Secretary of Treasury on or after October 1, 2018,” reads the bill’s text. The authority for the trust fund will be terminated on September 30, 2028. The unobligated balance of any amounts fund on such date will be returned to the general fund of the Treasury.

Byrne’s bill has earned the support of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a leading immigration reform organization.

“Even though President Trump and Congressional Republicans have a clear mandate from the American people, Democrat obstructionists have repeatedly blocked border wall funding and are once again threatening to do so in December,” said AIR Government Relations Director RJ Hauman. “This is why it is important to pursue other avenues to ensure that the border wall is funded once and for all. One such avenue is Congressman Bradley Byrne’s Fifty Votes for the Wall Act – which provides a unique and filibuster-proof funding mechanism for the border wall. FAIR applauds Congressman Byrne for introducing this legislation, and recognizing that Democrat obstruction poses a significant national security risk.”

Congressman Byrne’s bill is sponsored by fifteen of his Republican colleagues, including two fellow members of the Alabama delegation: 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and 3rd District U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers.

Other sponsors include U.S. Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Brian Babin (R-TX), Jim Banks (R-IN), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Bill Posey (R-FL), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), and Lamar Smith (R-TX).