Ted Cruz," Make El Chapo Pay For The Wall." He Is Mexican.
As President Donald Trump struggles to persuade Congress to pay for his oft-promised border wall and Mexico continues to insist it will not spend a dime on the project, Sen. Ted Cruz has come up with another idea.
The Texas Republican introduced a bill Tuesday that would use assets seized from Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and other drug lords to pay for the wall and bolster border security.
The proposal, first reported by Axios, would repurpose $14 billion in assets that the government is seeking from the notorious Mexican drug kingpin to complete the wall.
The name of the measure is "Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act," or ELCHAPO.
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.
Cost estimates for the wall have ranged dramatically, with some experts predicting it could cost up to $25 billion and Democrats putting the price tag at a whopping $66.9 billion. But Trump has insisted he could build it for $10 billion or less.
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.
But Cruz has generally supported the idea. While competing against Trump in the GOP primary, Cruz also suggested building a wall, prompting Trump to accuse the Texan of stealing his idea. Now that the two are working together more closely, the senator could help Trump achieve the promise that became a central feature of his campaign rallies.