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house Bill H.R. 546

Should the Treasury Issue ‘Border Bonds’ for Americans to Voluntarily Fund the Southern Border Wall?

Argument in favor

Issuing “border bonds” to allow Americans to help fund the border wall would let those who support this priority directly contribute to it despite Congress’ refusal to give President Trump the full $5 billion he’s sought for the wall.

Doug's Opinion
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03/21/2019
Yes, I wonder how the DNC would react if 1 million Russians crossed the border to vote for President Trump?
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JTJ's Opinion
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03/21/2019
Look at all the intolerant democrats in this forum telling us what we can and can’t do with our money.
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Kelly's Opinion
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03/21/2019
I would happily contribute to fund the border wall.
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Argument opposed

It’d be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to raise $5 billion via donations. This is also ultimately an end-run around Congress’ power to appropriate government funds.

Alan's Opinion
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03/21/2019
That’s not how this works. The federal government should not serve as a conduit for the ill-informed to fund any stupid unnecessary project that comes along. Congress should do its job, and if the President can’t get funding from Congress, he needs to figure out why, not go looking somewhere else for the funding that’s been denied.
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Jennifer's Opinion
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03/21/2019
If the government is going to create and issue “border bonds,” why not health-care bonds, education bonds, environment bonds, science, bonds, etc....?
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Melvin 's Opinion
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03/21/2019
How stupid is the idea of the public paying for the wall Mexico was going to. This president is a serious threat to democracy and his portrait of how he attacks a dead congressman that fought for this country is enough. I will need to be held by my nurse soon because I’ll be in Texarkana soon and yes as hot as it is there, I’m Fiery and Fierce because it’s on us to fight against that dumb wall. Catch me
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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
      Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 15th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 546?

This bill — the Border Bonds for America Act of 2019 — would direct the Treasury Secretary to issue government bonds specifically for the construction of a physical barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border known as “Border Bonds.” These bonds could also be used to finance related technology and improved infrastructure. All U.S. citizens could buy Border Bonds, and the proceeds would go directly to a “Border Bonds Trust Fund,” which would be established in the Treasury Dept.

Impact

Trump supporters; border wall supporters; Treasury Dept.; and the Treasury Secretary.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 546

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to allow the Treasury Secretary to sell revenue bonds to support the construction of the southern border wall and improve security infrastructure at the southern border:

"Border security is national security. We can't afford to let political games get in the way of protecting our nation and its citizens. Our bill allows bonds to be purchased by American citizens in order to fund the border wall. It also allows the Administration to utilize financial resources, including donations by the American people, for the wall that Democrats refuse to provide. Historically, we've seen Americans rise to the occasion to support the defense of our country, and this is no different."

When he originally introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Rep. Palazzo called border bonds a "safe investment" in America's security:

“This bill is a safe investment into the infrastructure and security of our country. During World War II, 85 million Americans purchased $185 billion in war bonds and financially supported our troops while they were defending our country. This legislation would allow for the patriots of today’s era to help support American security in the same way as previous generations. The American people are fed up with the political games fueled by the Democrats’ inaction to secure our borders and protect our citizens. In November of 2016, Americans voted for better border security and as Vice-Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I believe this legislation allows new alternatives for our citizens to support their values and defend our homeland.”

Roll Call’s Emily Kopp notes that it’d be incredibly difficult to raise $5 billion — the amount that President Trump attempted to request for the wall in January 2019 — through crowdfunding:

“Achieving $5 billion in fundraising will be difficult, even for a cause the president has championed, if statistics on Americans’ charitable contributions are a guide. For example, the Barack Obama Foundation garnered roughly $250 million in revenue last year. And the charity that drew the most fundraising from cash and stock in 2017 was the United Way at just $3.3 billion, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.”

Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, argues that additional border wall fencing in remote parts of the U.S.-Mexico border would be useless for preventing unauthorized immigrants’ entry:

“There is a reason people don't build fences in the middle of nowhere; it doesn't change the enforcement profile in the middle of nowhere. The existing fence has worked because of where it is, near populated areas. Both Democrats and Republicans have testified that they have the fencing they need.”

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly, who left the Trump administration in January 2019, called the wall “a waste of money” in an interview on stage at Duke University on March 6, 2019. Kelly added that he disagreed with Trump’s characterization of immigrants from Mexico and Central America as violent and dangerous to Americas, saying, “They’re overwhelmingly not criminals. They’re people coming up here for economic purposes. I don’t blame them for that.” Kelly concluded, “We don’t need a wall from sea to shining sea.”

This bill has seven Republican cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it had two Republican cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote. In the 115th Congress, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) introduced a similar bill allowing the Treasury to issue “border wall bonds.” That bill, which had four Republican cosponsors, also didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteThe Secure Fence Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2006. It authorized the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with new surveillance by both federal agents and technology. The Secure the Fence Act passed the House by on a party-line vote, with a majority of Democrats opposing the bill (283-138); in the Senate, it passed on an 80-19 vote with the support of 25 Democrats, including then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and current Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Over a decade later, the southern border fence remains incomplete, and its completion was a key pillar of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

President Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for the construction of a southern border wall was one of his signature campaign promises in 2016. From the start of his presidential campaign, and going into his presidency, Trump has promised supporters that Mexico — not American taxpayers — would pay to build a wall along the southern border. When he announced his presidential run in June 2016, then-candidate Trump said:

"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall."

Since becoming president, Trump has struggled to make good on his promise to secure wall funding from Mexico. In January 2019, the partial government shutdown was precipitated by Trump’s demand for $5 billion to build the wall. However, Democrats held firm and refused to approve that dollar amount, and negotiators ultimately agreed on $1.37 billion for 55 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a January 2015 statement to the Daily Caller, Rep. Michael McCaul, then-chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said, “in our conversations with outside groups, experts and stakeholders, we learned that it would be an inefficient use of taxpayer money to complete the fence. … We are using that money to utilize other technology to create a secure border." Since Trump’s election, Rep. McCaul has taken various positions on Trump’s border wall proposal, calling it “kind of a simplistic” “knee-jerk response” in August 2015, then supporting it immediately after Trump’s election. In February 2017, Rep. McCaul appeared opposed to the construction of a border wall spanning the full U.S.-Mexico border:

“I don't think we need a 2,000-mile wall down there. We need a physical barrier, multi-layered approach, using both infrastructure but also technology and personnel. Those are the three main things that border patrol tells us they need."

In the current Congress,  Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) has also reintroduced the Buy a Brick, Build a Wall Act, which would allow private citizens to donate to the border wall’s construction. During the 115th Congress, Rep. Davidson touted his plan in an NPR interview:

“I've offered a modest compromise called Buy a Brick, Build a Wall (ph) that we introduced, which lets the American people, or whomever should choose to donate - Mexicans or otherwise - to donate to the program… You could do with this sort of, like, crowdfunding site. Or you could even do blockchain, and you could have wall coins. But you could raise the money. And frankly, if we get it right at the Treasury, you could even accept Mexican pesos.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Rex_Wholster)

AKA

Border Bonds for America Act of 2019

Official Title

To provide for the issuance of revenue bonds to fund construction of a physical border barrier and related technology, roads, and lighting along the United States border with Mexico.

    Yes, I wonder how the DNC would react if 1 million Russians crossed the border to vote for President Trump?
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    That’s not how this works. The federal government should not serve as a conduit for the ill-informed to fund any stupid unnecessary project that comes along. Congress should do its job, and if the President can’t get funding from Congress, he needs to figure out why, not go looking somewhere else for the funding that’s been denied.
    Like (180)
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    If the government is going to create and issue “border bonds,” why not health-care bonds, education bonds, environment bonds, science, bonds, etc....?
    Like (161)
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    How stupid is the idea of the public paying for the wall Mexico was going to. This president is a serious threat to democracy and his portrait of how he attacks a dead congressman that fought for this country is enough. I will need to be held by my nurse soon because I’ll be in Texarkana soon and yes as hot as it is there, I’m Fiery and Fierce because it’s on us to fight against that dumb wall. Catch me
    Like (65)
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    Look at all the intolerant democrats in this forum telling us what we can and can’t do with our money.
    Like (56)
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    Oh for foxs sake. Give it up. Congress doesn’t want to fund Trump’s wall. My friends don’t want to fund Trump’s wall. I don’t want to fund Trump’s wall. My relatives don’t want to fund Trump’s wall. My daughter’s dog doesn’t want to fund Trump’s wall. Soliciting donations or using bonds to fund a wall nobody wants will further divide this country. JUST STOP WITH THIS INSANITY! No wall period!
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    I would happily contribute to fund the border wall.
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    I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face: A border wall is an affront to the American way and should never be allowed. A government sanctioned monument to racism must not be funded by public OR private means.
    Like (41)
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    No no no, People don’t realize that there is funding to maintain the wall we already have on the border, we need to start thinking about our own people. Flint needs water, Puerto Rico needs infrastructure, get over the wall idea. It’s not going to lessen the drugs being smuggled into our points of entry
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    The money isn’t even the issue with the wall. No matter where the money comes from the wall is still ABSOLUTELY NOT BEING DONE. Nothing makes the racist xenophobic vanity folly a better idea. ABSOLUTELY NO WALL.
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    No. There is no need for a wall what we need is better immigration law and make it easier for people to come into the U.S. legally. The current laws are outdated. Take a long time and a lot of money to make people a legal U.S. citizen.
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    We are the United States of America. What’s the point of being a Union if we can have bonds for separate projects. How about Bonds for Getting Trump out of Office? Bonds for Clean Air and Water? Bonds to Eliminate Fossil Fuels? Boy at this rate we could eliminate Congress completely.
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    Take the money we already pay in that’s being used to give housing, SNAP, SSI, TANF, Healthcare, and any other freebies to the lawbreaking border jumpers and BUILD THE WALL. Enough is Enough!!
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    Back in the 1980’s, #45 was as delusional as he is today about his name brand. He invaded Atlantic City (AC), NJ with the promise of jobs, tourism and money. #45 schemed to make sure the governing politicians wouldn’t allow other property investors, (who were responsible for the revitalization of Las Vegas), to build in AC. Instead #45’s vanity, ego and narcissism caused AC to begin to crumble with the first of four Chapter 11 Bankruptcies: 1991, 2004, 2009, 2014. At the time of the 2009 bankruptcy filing, #45’s company was indebted for $1.2 billion. Because of #45’s dereliction of payments and bankruptcy filings, contractors were forced to accept a small fraction of monies owed. As a result, #45 was directly responsible for the closing of at least 20 contracting businesses that were involved with #45’s AC property ventures. In the tri-state area of NJ, PA and DE, #45’s name in property building is synonymous with failure and irresponsibility. Instead of addressing the humongous issue of immigration, the Bozo-in-Chief’s plan is to cover it up with concretes and steel panels. Given #45 horrendous track record in construction, any fundraising to build The Wall, would be futile and bound to be mismanaged.
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    This is unconstitutional. The power to raise money for the government was granted to Congress alone. Trump has had 2 full years with full Republican control of both the House and Senate. He promised repeatedly Mexico would pay for it. He has failed. Again.
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    The answer is still no no no. Just because a narcissistic president demands money that should be spent wisely like on affordable health care doesn’t mean we the people are ignorant enough to grant this.
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    👍🏻 House Bill H.R. 546 AKA the “Border Bonds for America Act” 👍🏻 I’d recommend and support the passage of the House Bill H.R. 546 AKA the “Border Bonds for America Act of 2019” which would direct the Treasury Secretary to issue government bonds specifically for the construction of a physical barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border known as “Border Bonds.” These bonds could also be used to finance related technology and improved infrastructure. All U.S. citizens could buy Border Bonds, and the proceeds would go directly to a “Border Bonds Trust Fund,” which would be established in the Treasury Dept. Issuing “border bonds” to allow Americans to voluntarily help fund the border wall which would let those who support this priority directly contribute to it despite Congress’ refusal, to give President Trump the full $5 billion he’s sought for the wall. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻HR-546👍🏻. 3*21*19.....
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    Hilarious. So the government should steal over half of everyone’s money because the once in a lifetime genius known as AOC says the world is going to end in a decade, but they can’t accept money through bonds for something that people want to voluntarily help fund. The hypocrisy is astounding, the denial is just comical.
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    No. Where would it stop? We have lobby groups and a system for this. The next step of this would just be the worlds elite bypassing laws to use “bonds” to fund any agenda. What a shitshow that would be.
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    $185.7 billion! That's how much was raised by American citizens to fund WW2. (Didn't know that, did you?) No reason we can't do it again, even if it's to keep ignorant citizens safe. P. S. If you purchase a bond, it's an investment, not a gift. You will receive all your money, plus interest back when the bond is matured. (Didn't know that either, did you?) Treasury bonds used to be gifted to children and grandchildren. We'll buy 18 on the first day they're available!
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