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We would like to address our fellow citizens who believe a wall to our southern border would enhance our safety and security: As a rule Montanans are fiscally conservative. The proposed wall is not fiscally conservative. President Trump failed to deliver on his campaign promise to “make Mexico pay for it,” and has decided to put that burden on the American taxpayer. First projected to cost $5-6 billion, in December 2018 Republican Senators introduced S. 3713, a bill to appropriate $25 billion for the construction of the wall (www.congress.gov). That’s a big difference, $20 billion. If we made that big of a mistake at work, we would be out of a job. We will all be paying off that $25 billion for a long time. Regardless of how we got from Mexico paying for the wall to We the People paying for the wall, and regardless of how we got from it costing $5 billion to $25 billion, $25 billion isn’t conservative financially.

Montanans take care of our own. We’re usually anti-interventionist. We see the need to provide for our people at home before we police the rest of the world. So instead of spending $25 billion on a wall, we, as Montanans, would like to use that $25 billion to pay American workers to repair our crumbling bridges, outdated dams, torn up roads, and to maintain our public lands.

Kathleen Ralph

LouAnn Atkinson

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Columbus

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