Deploying thousands of military service members to the border obviously isn't free, but how much will Trump's election stunt cost?
By factoring in the cost of National Guard service members who were deployed to the border earlier this year, analysts believe the combined cost of the National Guard and regular military deployments could total over $200 million by the end of next month.
From the Washington Post:
The total price of President Trump’s military deployment to the border, including the cost of National Guard forces that have been there since April, could climb well above $200 million by the end of 2018 and grow significantly if the deployments continue into next year, according to analyst estimates and Pentagon figures. [...]
The cost of the National Guard deployment from April 10 through Sept. 30 amounted to $103 million, according to Pentagon figures. The Defense Department expects the Guard deployment to cost an additional $308 million through the end of next September, including the last quarter of 2018, as long as the operations continue apace.
Travis Sharp, a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budget Assessments, estimated that the cost of deploying 8,000 active-duty troops through mid-December in addition to the Guard would amount to $40 million to $50 million. Should the administration deploy 15,000 active-duty troops, as Trump suggested, the estimated cost would rise to as much as $110 million, Sharp said.
If the Guard deployment is expected to cost another $308 million through the next year in addition to the $103 million already spent on it, and if the deployment of active-duty service members costs a similar amount, It does not seem that far fetched to say these stunts could cost nearly a billion dollars when all is said and done.
The obvious caveat here is that these stunts could end relatively quickly once the election is over. I personally think it's unlikely 15,000 troops will be deployed to the border. The 5,000 troops who've been summoned already outnumber the number of migrants in the caravan which is still a 1,000 miles away and whose numbers are expected to dwindle.
The list is already longer than a receipt from CVS, but you can add this to the list of things House Democrats will investigate if they regain control of oversight in Congress.