Tennessee lawmaker wants to crowdsource border wall

Trump admin is looking for emergency declaration funds
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President Trump has run into some obstacles trying to get his much-ballyhooed border wall on the Southern border with Mexico built.

Attempts to get federal funding for it keep getting bogged down in Congress. And getting Mexico to pay for it — like the President famously promised on the campaign trail — seems highly unlikely at this point.

A member of Congress from Tennessee proposes that the country solve this funding problem the way all financial problems are solved in modern America — by crowdsourcing.

Rep. Diane Black, a Republican, has introduced a bill that would let people donate money to the border wall effort. Her Border Wall Trust Fund Act would create an account in the US Treasury where funds donated by the public for the wall would be held.

The bill, H.R. 5876, would let the money put into the Border Wall Trust Fund be used for planning, designing, constructing and maintaining a wall along the Southern border.

“Real immigration reform cannot be achieved without a secure border — President Trump has been clear about this since day one,” Black said in a statement. “The most important job of the federal government is the safety and security of the American people, and if citizens in our country wish to contribute to this effort, they absolutely should be given the opportunity.”

CNN has reached out to Black for comment.

Not the first time

This isn’t the first time that someone had the idea of passing the hat to get a border wall built.

Last year, Terry LaFleur, a candidate for governor in South Dakota, said he had created a charity to raise money to help build the border wall, according to the Argus Leader newspaper.

Such plans will need to get a lot of people to donate. The Trump administration’s cost estimate to cover the first phase of wall construction — about 700 miles of a proposed 2,026-mile border wall system — totaled $18 billion, according to documents from US Customs and Border Protection.

Trump has threatened to support a government shutdown this fall if Congress doesn’t meet his funding demands for border security.