• January 17, 2019

Montana lawmaker proposes to give $8M to build border wall - Odessa American: Wire News

e-Edition Subscribe

Montana lawmaker proposes to give $8M to build border wall

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 3:14 pm | Updated: 3:46 pm, Thu Jan 10, 2019.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker in Montana is proposing to give more than $8 million to help build President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the Mexican border, while South Dakota senators voted Thursday to endorse the president's plans.

As Trump traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday to make his case for $5.7 billion to build the wall in the government shutdown's 20th day, state lawmakers in some parts of Trump Country are backing him up with their own legislation.

Their efforts are mostly symbolic. The resolution passed in the South Dakota Senate simply urges construction of a steel barrier. The separate $8 million proposal in Montana would have little chance of getting past a Democratic governor who is exploring a run for president.

Scott Sales, a fiscally conservative Republican who leads the Montana Senate, says his proposal is a "small token" to show border security "is of vital interest to all citizens regardless of what state they live in."

Gov. Steve Bullock said he respects Sales, but "I don't know that he has ever strongly advocated for or supported infrastructure investments in Montana, so it's a little bit of a puzzle for me why he would even consider spending taxpayer dollars on construction projects in California."

Bullock, who said $8 million would go a long way to fund health care or infrastructure work in Montana, declined to say whether he'd veto the bill if it landed on his desk.

"Congress is basically dragging their heels over $5 billion, which is really trivial compared to what we spend on an annual basis," Sales said Wednesday in explaining his funding proposal.

Sales said he calculated Montana's "share" of the cost of the wall by dividing the state's gross domestic product by the national GDP and multiplying it by $5.7 billion.

Montana's $8 million wouldn't go very far, with Trump's $5.7 billion request expected to build 234 miles (377 kilometers) of wall.

House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner, a Democrat, said the Legislature should focus its spending on Montana's roads, building, water and sewer projects.

"That's a lot of school roofs and boilers," added Democratic Rep. Laurie Bishop.

Montana, where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 20 points, shares a 545-mile (877-kilometer) border with Canada, where there is no wall.

Sales also has sponsored a resolution that would ask Congress to act on the funding.

If the stalemate in Washington continues, the president said he's willing to consider declaring a national emergency, which he says would allow him to direct the military to begin building the wall.

———

AP writer James Nord in Pierre, South Dakota, contributed to this report.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Clear
59°
Humidity: 36%
Winds: S at 8mph
Feels Like: 58°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 70°/Low 45°
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.

friday

weather
High 71°/Low 38°
Windy with times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the upper 30s.

saturday

weather
High 60°/Low 34°
Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the mid 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7670 to sign up today.