Texas House Votes Down Plans to Study Border Wall

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The House voted down amendments that would have required state-funded studies to examine how a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and a border tax would impact Texas’ economy.

“I think Republicans are just playing politics—our amendments tried to find answers,” State Rep. César Blanco said.

The El Paso Democrat’s proposal to study the border adjustment tax, which would impose a 20 percent tax on all U.S. imports, fell three votes short of passing.

“We should be legislating with facts, with data and making informed decisions.  Not pulling that political rhetoric,” Blanco said.

The proposal to ban any state funding for building or maintaining a border wall in Big Bend National Park did not go to vote but was accepted in the final minutes of the House’s 15-hour session.

Just before 2 a.m. Friday, a motion was made on the House floor to roll all of the amendments that had not yet been heard into Article IX of the budget and accept it.

State Rep. Celia Israel said, “The only vote was to let’s all agree on all of these things and agree that each side has gotten something out of the evening and we called it a night.”

The Austin Democrat expects her proposal, which requires no money, will be slashed from the budget once it goes to negotiations with the Senate.

“Because I think it will be perceived as a political jab, even though a lot of folks agree on it,” Israel said.

Disappointed the amendment did no go to a record vote, Israel said, “Certainly, I don’t want to see any of our state resources go to a fantastical, imaginary wall.”

The president of Black Security Products LLC, Stephen Neusch hopes to make the wall a reality. The Austin-based company submitted a bid to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“This isn’t anti-immigration, this is helping stop illegal immigration,” Neusch said.

His company built sections of the fence that currently lines about 650 miles of the border.

Neusch detailed the conceptual drawings of the 30-foot-tall wall, the minimum height requirement outlined in the bid proposal.

The first 15 ft. is made of concrete, then there is a steel fence to give border patrol agents a view of the other side of the barrier, followed by more concrete.

The steel fence that stretches across the middle of the wall would give border patrol agents a view through the barrier.

Just below the fence, Neusch’s design includes an evaluated platform for vehicles to drive on and ramps that would allow border patrol to quick travel from the one side to the other.

“Anyone can drive on it from the U.S. side but it’s obviously secure from the Mexico side,” Neusch said.

The wall is topped with a steel plate that Neusch described as “an anti-climb feature.”

Out of the 200 companies expressing interest in constructing a border wall, 35 are based in Texas.

In Mid-April federal officials are expected to select several companies to build prototypes in California.

Neusch said the 30-foot-long mock-up of his wall design would cost $200,000 to build.
He estimates the price tag for a wall to line all 1,900 miles of the border will start at $15 billion.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.

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