Posted at 8:31 am on December 24, 2018
As word trickles out of the shutdown negotiations in the Senate, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there may be a compromise in the offing. But it’s still a long ways off. At this point, the two sides appear to be arguing primarily over semantics and, to a lesser degree, cost when it comes to the border barrier. The President is publicly insisting that he’s sticking to his guns and wants $5B for 215 miles of “wall.” But privately, the White House has indicated that they might settle for something between the $5B and the $1.3B that Chuck Schumer has been offering.
But that’s not all. The Senate Minority Leader also won’t cut a deal unless it’s called a fence, not a wall. And the steel slat structure that the President is pushing at the moment does have gaps in it so it certainly has a “fence” type of look to it. Further, this version of the barrier is going to cost $23.3M per mile. That’s more than quadruple the cost of fencing put up during the Obamaadministration, which cost an average of $5M per mile. DHS points out that this “barrier system” includes at least two layers and a high-speed road running between them, explaining the higher cost. The Washington Times has a good rundown of the current state of negotiations.