Rep. Warren Petersen’s (R-Gilbert) build your own border wall bill (HB2084) is moving quickly through the process in the Arizona House. It was assigned to the Federal Relations and Rules Committees on the first day of the 2020 session. It passed out of Rep. Mark Finchem’s (R- Oro Valley) federalism committee last week, out of House Rules on Monday, and heard in Caucus on Tuesday. This highly ideological bill is headed to the House floor.
HB2084 waives building permits and other regulations to allow landowners on the border to build sections of the Border Wall to help President Trump fulfill his campaign promise. There are no standards in the bill. People can build whatever they want. Finchem added an amendment to say that the wall sections have to built “according to the plan”.
What plan? People can build whatever they want. If this actually happened, besides being an environmental disaster, it would be a hodge podge lodge of bad design with gaps.
In caucus, Rep. Diego Rodriguez (D-South Phoenix) pointed out that HB2084 was proposed to facilitate the We Build The Wall Go Fund Me project. According to an article in the Phoenix New Times, the website vows to raise $25 million to help landowners build sections of the Border Wall. Hmmm…No permits or inspections? What could go wrong? Sections of the Border Wall have collapsed under the forces of Mother Nature in the past.
Let’s be clear. This bill has nothing to do with building a border wall or deregulating building permits for ranchers on the border. This is all about suburban Republicans trying to whip up their base with anti-immigrant rhetoric.
At the Arizona Republican State Committee Meeting last Saturday, Governor Ducey, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, and AZGOP Chair Kelly Ward told their delegates that they must be “One with Trump”. The build your own border wall bill shows that the 16 House members and one Senator who signed it are “One with Trump.” Ironically, only one of the members who signed it– Rep. Becky Nutt– actually represents border residents in the Legislature.
Let’s get down to business and stop wasting time on ideology.