Republican suggests Trump help pay for the wall, citing national debt

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

Blame game continues on government shutdown

GOP Rep. Walter Jones is worried about how President Trump's border wall would add to the already mushrooming national debt, and he proposed some ways to fund the wall that wouldn't require more borrowing — including having Mr. Trump put up some of his own money.

The North Carolina Republican pointed out that the nation's debt is close to $22 trillion, and the annual deficit is expected to top $1 trillion. Republicans often voiced concerns over the national debt when President Barack Obama was in charge, but those public criticisms largely subsided when the GOP gained control of the White House.

"As a wealthy man, the president might consider pledging some of his own funds as well," Jones said in a news release, after listing a handful of other suggestions, including cutting foreign aid and the effort in Afghanistan. "Whatever it takes, just so long as we don't add to the debt that is bankrupting our great country."

"Whatever compromise is reached, it should be paid for without adding to the deficit or the debt," Jones wrote.

Washington has been at a stalemate over government funding, with Mr. Trump demanding funding for his border wall, while Democrats say they won't give him any. In the past, Mr. Trump has demanded $5 billion for his border wall, although it would take much more to build a wall along the border. The Government Accountability Office estimated earlier this year it would cost $18 billion to construct 722 miles of barriers in some priority locations.

Mr. Trump's exact net worth is unclear, although Forbes estimated in October that it was $3.1 billion. That's down more than $1 billion from before Mr. Trump took office — Forbes claimed Mr. Trump's net worth was $4.5 billion in 2015.

First published on December 31, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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