On Thursday, several House Freedom Caucus members introduced the El Chapo Act, the House companion bill to Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal to fund Trump’s border wall without the use of taxpayer dollars.
The El Chapo Act was introduced by Rep. Mo Brooks and cosponsored by Congressmen Tom Garrett, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert – all members of the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Kevin Brady, who is not a member of the House Freedom Caucus, also cosponsored the bill.
The introduction of the El Chapo Act in the House comes in the midst of debate in Congress about whether to fund the construction of Trump’s border wall and how it could be done. Last week, Congressional leadership stripped the budget of funding for the border wall.
“No nation can exist without borders,” Mo Brooks said. “I commend Senator Cruz for sponsoring this financially responsible solution which promotes American security by minimizing the trafficking of drugs and weapons across our southern border.”
The El Chapo Act, which stands for Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order, would allocate all funds seized by the United States government upon the prosecution of international drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, as well as other convictions that are a direct result of illegal transportation of controlled substances into the United States, toward building Trump’s proposed border wall.
El Chapo’s drug profits and assets are estimated to be worth around $14 billion. This alone would likely cover the full cost of building Trump’s border wall, which is estimated to cost between $12 billion to $15 billion.
“Using the profits of those who have exploited our borders to defend those very borders is not only ironic, it’s common sense,” said Tom Garrett. “While the federal government is tasked with defending the homeland, we should be working to find solutions to cut the use of taxpayer dollars wherever we can.”
Supporters of the El Chapo Act can express their support for the legislation by signing the online petition on Ted Cruz’s website.