Update: Trump Says He Plans To Be Involved In Negotiations & Design Of Wall To Keep Costs Down

Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images.
Update: President Trump took to Twitter to promise he could lower the projected cost of the wall.

No specifics were given, nor was any impression that he had actually read the Department of Homeland Security's report. However, his assertions that he could reduce the price tag on the wall through design choices and by personally being involved in negotiations with vendors would put the president unusually close to this project. Traditionally, a president would delegate those tasks.

This story was originally published on February 10, 2017.

Hope you're sitting down.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report has estimated the cost of President Trump's infamous border wall — and it's much more higher than the figure he mentioned during his presidential campaign. The series of fences and walls alongside the U.S.-Mexico border would cost an astounding $21.6 billion and take about three years to build, Reuters exclusively reported.

Trump had previously estimated the project would cost about $10 to $12 billion, while House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the price tag would be $15 billion at most.

Though the president famously insisted throughout his campaign that the wall would be paid for by Mexico, he is now asserting that construction of the wall could be funded by American taxpayers, and that Mexico would reimburse us later. (This notion has been rejected over and over and over again by the Mexican government.)

The administration also suggested at one point that the U.S. could impose a 20% import tax on Mexico as payment — which made everyone freak out because the price of avocados would skyrocket and because it meant that American consumers would end up paying for the wall anyway.

According to Reuters, the report will be presented to Secretary John Kelly in the coming days. However, it's unclear whether the Trump administration will follow its recommendations.

One thing to take into account is that the Congressional Budget Office is already projecting that $10 trillion could be added to the federal debt in the next decade, and that figure takes into account the statutory caps on domestic and military spending, The New York Times reported.

So really, $21.6 billion isn't exactly child's play. No wonder the president wants his pet project to be paid by our southern neighbors.
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