As the federal government shutdown enters a third week, the Trump Administration has formalized its request for $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Officials recently sent a letter to congressional leaders confirming the requested funds would be for a steel barrier on the southwest border.
Democrats who now control the U.S. House have refused.
President Donald Trump is set to address the nation Tuesday on the topic of border security.
Midstate Republican Congressman Scott Perry said however the shutdown ends, this funding will likely continue to be a topic of debate.
He said estimates for a full border wall show it could cost as much as $25 billion.
“$5.7 billion or thereabouts is certainly not the whole thing,” Perry said. “It’s just a component of securing the entire southern border through various means including physical barriers and fencing, technology, and wall where appropriate.”
Perry, who represents Dauphin County and parts of Cumberland and York counties, said he supports a physical barrier on the border in places where its appropriate.
He said a wall or fencing would help stop an illegal flow of drugs, such as deadly fentanyl, into the country.
However, the Drug Enforcement Agency says land ports of entry into the U.S. are smugglers’ primary way for bringing in drugs.
Perry said lawmakers who have voted to fund border security in the past won’t support the president’s agenda.
“He ran on it, I don’t think it’s any question that was a big issue in his campaign and it seems like they just don’t want him to have that whether it’s good for the country or not,” Perry said.
Democrats support funding for other border security measures but say a wall would be ineffective.
Perry said he doesn’t see a clear end to the shutdown at this point.