Days after his initial announcement of his intention to build a wall at the Mexico border, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott elaborated on his plans on Ruthless, a podcast about GOP politics. While Abbott has yet to explain how the state will fund the project, he said that it may be at least partially be paid for with public donations.
“When I do make the announcement later on this week, I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to for everybody in the United States — really everybody in the entire world — who wants to help Texas build the border wall, there will be a place on there where they can contribute,” Abbott stated. He also promised “great transparency” over donations that will go to a fund “overseen by the state of Texas in the governor’s office.”
Abbott’s attempt to raise public donations for border wall construction echoes Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage’s We Build the Wall nonprofit that solicited funds to build a private border wall. The effort was aided by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. After raising more than $25 million for the project, Bannon, Kolfage and two others were arrested and charged by federal prosecutors with defrauding donors.
The road ahead is unclear, as Abbott faces threats of legal action and scrutiny over the construction. Democrat State Rep. Mary González, a member of the Texas House’s budget writing appropriations committee, suggested that the project would be a “misuse of funds,” while others have questioned whether the governor has the legal authority to enact it.
Last Friday, the White House renewed its call to end construction of the border wall and called on Congress to reverse the appropriation of billions of dollars from the military budget to build sections of the wall undertaken by the Trump administration. Early on in his presidency, Biden fulfilled his campaign promise to halt most border wall construction that began under Trump.