Trump wants taxpayers to pay for the US-Mexico border wall

The incoming Trump administration may seek help from Congress to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border, according to Republican lawmakers cited by Politico and CNN on Thursday.

Such a move would break Trump’s pledge that Mexico would pay for the wall, which was central to the president-elect’s campaign.

The reports said Trump and House Republicans were developing plans to fund the border wall using taxpayer money through a 2006 law enacted by President George W. Bush that provided for over 700 miles of barriers along the southern US border.

CNN cited House Republican officials who said the plan could be taken up as early as April.

The proposed border wall — and Trump’s assertion that Mexico would pay for it — was one of his principal campaign pledges. The matter generated some fallout between Trump and Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto when the two publicly disagreed about the wall payment after Trump flew to Mexico to meet with him in August.

On his return to the US, Trump claimed he and Peña Nieto never discussed payment. Peña Nieto immediately fired back in Spanish: “I repeat what I told you personally, Mr. Trump: Mexico will never pay for a wall.”

Trump modified his plans during a speech in late October when he outlined an idea for a proposed “End Illegal Immigration Act,” in which the US would pay for the wall and seek reimbursement from Mexico.