Trump cannot begin construction of his fantasy border wall without the necessary funding so, given that Congress is notoriously slow to act, Trump signed an executive order instructing the Department of Homeland Security to identity existing funds to begin planning and construction.
According to a new report from Reuters, the department was only able to identify $20 million in funding that could be redirected.
DHS has identified only $20 million that can be re-directed to the multi-billion-dollar project, according to a document prepared by the agency and distributed to congressional budget staff last week.
The document said the funds would be enough to cover a handful of contracts for wall prototypes, but not enough to begin construction of an actual barrier.
At this rate, the department may be able to redirect enough funding at some point in the next 1,000 years.
Given the vast distance a southern border wall would cover, and the immense amount of private property and unique landmarks and geography covering that distance, I personally find it hard to believe $20 million would even be enough to design a prototype.
This is a pristine example of Republican fiscal fantasy meeting reality. They apparently believe there are vast sums of money that could easily be redirected within various federal departments, but many departments have already been squeezed by Congress over the past decade.
Republicans often say there's tremendous waste in government but, if that's the case, they're largely responsible for it. Congressional Republicans aren't even attempting to go through the appropriations process this year and that process would allow them to retool the budgets of virtually every federal agency. Congress has not at least partially completed the appropriations process since 2015.
The federal budget has more or less been frozen in time since sequestration. There's no waste or untapped billions that could be redirected for Trump's vanity projects.