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house Bill H.R. 32

Should the Treasury Accept Private Donations to Build the Border Wall?

Argument in favor

Now that the Democrats control the House, it’s unlikely that federal funding for the border wall will materialize. Private donations to this key Trump administration priority will allow the wall’s construction without taxpayer dollars, saving the government money and securing the border.

John's Opinion
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01/13/2019
Being $22 Trillion in debt the Treasury should accept donations for nearly anything. Why would anyone be against this unless you are just a Trump hater and thus someone who hates this country!
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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01/13/2019
👍🏻 H.R. 32 AKA — the Buy a Brick, Build the Wall Act 👍🏻 I’m in strong support of the House bill H.R. 32 AKA — the Buy a Brick, Build the Wall Act — which would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Now that the Democrats control the House, it’s unlikely that federal funding for the border wall will materialize. Private donations to this key Trump administration priority will allow the wall’s construction without taxpayer dollars, saving the government money and securing the border. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 1*13*19..........
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Mark's Opinion
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01/13/2019
5 billion times yes! Accept private funds, time and action specific earmarked to physically secure our borders! Now that is Patriotism in Action!
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Argument opposed

The border wall is opposed by many Americans and negatively impacts the environment and endangered species along the U.S.-Mexico border. Crowdfunding for federal priorities is a bad idea because it opens the government to private influence and lets Congress accomplish goals outside the appropriations process.

Brian's Opinion
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01/13/2019
Not unless the federal government also accepts private donations for healthcare, education, and national disasters. This is a slippery slope that will likely increase corruption and special interest influence in our government. I don't think we should start.
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I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
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01/13/2019
No, because then these private donors will think they are entitled to something. Also, the Wall is not required and is an environmental hazard.
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Thelma's Opinion
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01/13/2019
The Founders of this country designed a system of government to address how the people of this country wish to be governed. The people of this country do not want a wall, and we elected representatives in the last election to say so. We are not a corporate run country, as much as Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist would prefer. Republicans only win because they cheat. No wall.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 32?

This bill — the Buy a Brick, Build the Wall Act — would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Impact

Trump supporters; U.S.-Mexico border; Mexico; and the Treasury Secretary.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 32

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to create an account at the U.S. Treasury dedicated to holding public donations for the completion of a wall along the U.S. southern border:

"Open border radicals make our country less safe for families everywhere. Last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized 2,379 pounds of fentanyl and 6,967 pounds of heroin - drugs that would otherwise have made their way to Ohio streets for sale. This bill creates a way for our citizens to pitch in and help efforts to secure the border, support President Trump's commitment to build the wall, and keep future generations safe.”

In a primetime address to the nation on January 8, 2019, President Trump said law enforcement was seeking a barrier at the border:

“As part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier... This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It's also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.“

Democrats have been largely unified in their opposition to Trump’s border wall, which they view as xenophobic and a waste of taxpayer money. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in a letter to her colleagues in early 2018, called the border wall an issue on which her caucus “must all speak out.” However, in December 2018, a group of border-state House Democrats accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of betraying them on the border wall issue due to comments Sen. Schumer made about backing more funding for the border.

In December 2018, the ACLU, Amnesty International USA, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Sierra Club, and a range of other advocacy organizations signed a letter urging lawmakers in both chambers to reject any new funding for the border wall and other Trump security priorities.

Environmental scientists — a group that typically doesn’t make political statements — have spoken out against the border wall proposal over environmental concerns. Robert Peters, lead author of a paper in Bioscience documenting the ecological harms of fence and barrier construction along the U.S.-Mexico border and the further damage that’d be incurred by the Trump administration’s proposed continuous wall that’s co-signed by 2,700 scientists from 47 countries, notes in his paper that “[f]ences and walls erected along international boundaries in the name of national security have unintended but significant consequences for biodiversity.”

According to Jenni Miller, senior scientist at Defenders of Wildlife, barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border threaten 1,500 species of plants and animals, including 62 endangered or vulnerable species. Miller questions the wisdom of trading the environment for national security:

“Debates about the border wall typically focus on immigration, economics and national security, but the harm to Americans’ natural heritage is an outcome rarely discussed. Do we really want to trade our natural heritage for national security?”

GovTrack Insider notes that, in addition to resistance to the border wall itself, there are also some concerns about the politics of crowdfunding:

“Some worry that the ability to donate privately to such a federal project would primarily serve as a way for individuals or corporations to buy political influence, especially in this case with the White House or Republican members of Congress. Federal government projects are nearly always funded entirely publicly, for the reason that contributions from the public en masse not only provide more of an 'all in' approach, but also help prevent nepotism or favoritism in the process.”

In the current Congress, this bill has the support of 20 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans. In the previous Congress, it had the support of two cosponsors, both of whom were Republicans.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced a nearly identical bill, the Border Wall Trust Fund Act, in the previous Congress. That bill would have allowed individual donors to donate to border wall construction. That bill had 11 cosponsors, all of whom were Republicans.


Of NotePrivate donations have funded other public works projects, including the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, FDR Memorial, World War II Memorial, George Mason Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

In early December, President Trump threatened a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve his requested $5 billion for wall construction as part of the federal spending package due by December 7. Senate Democrats have only agreed to fund $1.6 billion, less than a third of what Trump is asking for.

Earlier in 2018, Democrats offered to fully fund the wall in exchange for granting citizenship to 1.8 million DREAMers, or children of undocumented immigrants. President Trump and Republicans rejected the offer. With Democrats about to take over the House, the odds of publicly funding the wall fully or even partially just plummeted.

A June 2018 Gallup poll found that the majority (57%) of respondents opposed a border wall, and a large majority (83%) favor giving immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children a path to citizenship. Only 41% of respondents were in favor of building a border wall.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock / Sherry Smith)

AKA

Buy a Brick, Build the Wall Act of 2019

Official Title

To allow the Secretary of the Treasury to accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the United States and Mexico and for other purposes.

    Being $22 Trillion in debt the Treasury should accept donations for nearly anything. Why would anyone be against this unless you are just a Trump hater and thus someone who hates this country!
    Like (176)
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    Not unless the federal government also accepts private donations for healthcare, education, and national disasters. This is a slippery slope that will likely increase corruption and special interest influence in our government. I don't think we should start.
    Like (629)
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    No, because then these private donors will think they are entitled to something. Also, the Wall is not required and is an environmental hazard.
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    We don’t need a wall
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    The Founders of this country designed a system of government to address how the people of this country wish to be governed. The people of this country do not want a wall, and we elected representatives in the last election to say so. We are not a corporate run country, as much as Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist would prefer. Republicans only win because they cheat. No wall.
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    No because this sets a precedence of the government making more demands and holding us hostage to 45’s whim
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    No! This would set a dangerous precedent. If this was approved, it would be too easy for the wealthy to influence government. Do we really want the very rich to have more influence than they already have? This is typical of the GOP, extremely short sighted!
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    👍🏻 H.R. 32 AKA — the Buy a Brick, Build the Wall Act 👍🏻 I’m in strong support of the House bill H.R. 32 AKA — the Buy a Brick, Build the Wall Act — which would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to accept public donations to fund the construction of a barrier on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Now that the Democrats control the House, it’s unlikely that federal funding for the border wall will materialize. Private donations to this key Trump administration priority will allow the wall’s construction without taxpayer dollars, saving the government money and securing the border. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 1*13*19..........
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    No, because then these private donors will think they are entitled to something. Also, the Wall is not required and is an environmental hazard.
    Like (70)
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    5 billion times yes! Accept private funds, time and action specific earmarked to physically secure our borders! Now that is Patriotism in Action!
    Like (67)
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    Why not feed the poor....cure diseases.....infrastructure.....the wall has ego all over it.
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    The "WALL" is nothing but a political piece of BS. Our citizens are not getting paid, many of which protect our airports/airplanes (air-traffic controllers & TSA agents), our overall safety (FBI), and everyone of the employees unable to pay bills/buy food/etc. This is a "national emergency" because of criminals/murders/rapists...what about Americans shooting up churches/concerts/movie theaters/nightclubs? Why isn't there a "national emergency" about that? What about the American rapists and pedophiles? Why isn't there a "national emergency" over that? I'm paralyzed because of crime by Americans...I think that is a "personal emergency", but no one gives a sh*t about that. Wake up people!
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    Absolutely not, we should be stopping big money and government, not encouraging it. There is enough corruption in government, we don’t need more.
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    This would start the option of millionaires and billionaires to circumvent our “We The People” representation in Congress. And America would become the land of only the rich.
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    If they were somehow taking donations for P-Parenthood you people would be all over it & saying it’s your right to do so, as long as it’s on the liberal agenda. Apparently building a wall to deter ILLEGAL immigration is immoral but killing fetuses, a lot of times just due to selfishness of not wanting a child, isn’t immoral. Right.
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    First and foremost: a wall is the dumbest idea this country has ever had - particularly when our bridges, tunnels, and roads are crumbling all around the country. Secondly, private funds for a project requiring eminent domain? Third of all, on the eminent domain topic, I could see there being major court fights that would drag on for years and cost millions in legal fees. This whole thing is so damn stupid and I wish someone in the GOP would grow a spine and put country above Putin.
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    I don’t like that this would set a precedent and that in essence would allow those with disposable income or only the rich to finance any project that suits their agenda.
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    NO WALL, not even for free, a wall does not solve our immigration issues, stop asking the same question in fifty different flavors, the answer is going to be the same, NO WALL
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    No. We are trying to get money out of politics. Smells too much like Citizens United. Nothing but corruption.
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    Sure why not! We need to protect our borders and obviously the dems care less about protecting us. They only care about obstructing because they hate the President. If the democrats won the presidential election two years ago they would be persecuting conservatives and putting Christians in jail. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:19-21‬ ‭‬ “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭5:20‬ ‭ “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:1, 3-4, 12-13, 15‬ ‭
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