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Legislative changes will be necessary to complete the construction of a southern-border wall, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday morning.

In an interview with radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Mulvaney stated cost estimates vary on the wall, as it is contingent on a number of factors.

“It depends on the kind of wall that you want to build,” Mulvaney said. “You could do steel, you can do concrete, you can do a combination of concrete and steel. You can supplement it with different types of technologies, and so forth.”

“When you’re talking about a wall that’s several thousand miles long, there’s going to be certain places where a certain type of wall is more appropriate than others.”

Still, border-wall construction will not necessarily be shovel ready even with such variables figured out. As always, there is the tremendous threat and obstacle of debilitating regulations. Hugh Hewitt specifically named at least three federal laws: National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water Act as examples of standing law that could impede construction of the border wall. Liberal environmental groups, Hewitt warned, will be looking to stop construction.

Mick Mulvaney made it clear that it is Congress’ responsibility to ensure that the wall is exempt from such statutory limitations.

“We don’t legislate down here at the White House; Capitol Hill will do that,” Mulvaney said. “But we are already pressing on the appropriate committees on the Hill.” He told Hewitt that congressional Republicans are aware of the potential problems and are preparing to deal with these issues in the wall’s authorizing legislation.

“The Republicans in the House and the Senate know the same limitations. You can’t build a wall, for example, I think, across national monument lands. That’s going to have to change.”

As for the cost of the wall, Mulvaney cited estimates that show it could cost anywhere from $8 million per mile to $25 million per mile. Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz has previously explained that these sticker prices are, ultimately, immaterial, as cost savings to the country from reduced illegal immigration will essentially allow the wall to pay for itself.

According to Mulvaney, President Trump desires construction on the wall to begin this fiscal year. But the details of the wall’s budget will likely not be available until fiscal year 2019.

First things first, though — Congress needs to act.

“There are legislative changes that we need to effectively build the wall, and we are working on that,” said the OMB director. 


Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer
and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are Conservative Political Philosophy, the American Founding, and Progressive Rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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