White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave an impromptu presentation during Wednesday's press briefing about the strides made towards better border security in the recent budget deal.
Spicer said the budget deal was beneficial for President Donald Trump's long-term border security goals, including building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The White House spokesman launched into an explanation of current border security in the U.S. after a reporter asked him why the government was focused on existing border security measures rather than building a border wall.
"According to a GAO [Government Accountability Office] report from earlier this year, from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2015, the Customs and Border Patrol recorded a total of 9,287 breaches in pedestrian fencing at an average cost of $784 per breach to repair," Spicer explained. "So every time that they cut through, break through, put something over, it's costing just under a thousand bucks for us to go out and have to fix it."
"The bill that is about to get passed, Title Six, which pertains to the Department of Homeland Security's funding on additional appropriation, states an additional $497.4 million, quote, for procurement, construction, and improvements," he continued. "Of that total, $341.2 million are to … replace approximately 40 miles of existing primary pedestrian and vehicle border fencing along the southwest border."
"To replace [the current border's arrangement] with 20-foot-high ballard wall will protect our country," Spicer said. "Something that the DHS has designated the most effective way to do this."
Spicer was quick to emphasize that wall spending was going to be a priority of the administration in the 2018 budget, starting Oct. 1. But, Spicer said, "we have an opportunity to use the last five months of the FY17 budget to get the president's priorities jump-started."
"The president is building a wall and using the best technology," Spicer concluded. "What the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary John Kelly says, it's the most effective way to keep people out, stop drugs, stop cartels and human trafficking, and prevent illegal immigration."