Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz proposed a new bill that would force cash seized from Mexican drug lords, including El Chapo, to cover the cost of Donald Trump‘s border wall.
The new proposal was introduced on Tuesday, April 24, by former Republican presidential nominee Ted Cruz as part of the Texas Republican’s EL CHAPO Bill.
The bill’s title, which is not only the nickname of the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, also stands for “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order.”
Cruz’s proposal calls for the U.S. government to seek $14 billion from Guzman while also trying to obtain funds from other drug lords to cover the cost of building the wall and securing the border.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 25, 2017
Cruz’s suggestion may offer an innovative way for Trump to work around his difficulties getting Congress or Mexico to fund his longtime campaign promise. Mexico’s chief diplomat has long said the country would play no part in helping to build the wall, calling it a “hostile” act. Congress, meanwhile, has balked at Trump’s efforts to include funding in a must-pass government spending bill this week.
Some analysts have also raised doubts about whether El Chapo’s assets actually reach as high as $14 billion, though most predict his fortune is in the billions.Even beyond the funding issues, most Texas Republicans in Congress have expressed opposition to the idea of building a wall along the state’s southern border, urging the president to use a more “holistic approach” to border security.
The estimated cost of Trump’s proposed wall has varied depending on the source. Trump says that the wall will cost $10 billion, while some experts predict it could cost up to $25 billion, and other Democrats have put the price tag at $66.9 billion.