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Construction Begins on New Border Wall Segment Even as Political Fight Continues

President Donald Trump’s fight to get border wall funding from Congress aside, construction on new segments of a barrier is already beginning in Texas, according to reports on Monday.

The U.S. government is preparing to begin construction of new segments of the border wall and fencing in the Rio Grande Valley.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that heavy construction equipment [1] is expected to start arriving Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Democratic leaders and the president have been in a bitter fight over whether federal funds should go to the construction of the border wall.

Trump said late last year that he wouldn’t sign any more spending bills that did not include $5.7 billion for the project.

Democratic leaders opposed providing anything — which led the government to shut down on December 22.

Related: White House Fights for Border Security with Possible New Shutdown Ahead [2]

Trump eventually relented on his veto threat, which meant the government shutdown ended on January 25. He signed a spending bill that reopened the government for another three weeks [3] to give both sides time to negotiate a deal on border security.

The conference committee to negotiate a deal started meeting on January 30.

Trump repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to getting border wall funding throughout the shutdown. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said soon after he signed the short-term spending bill that border security was and is still a top priority.

She argued the president only reopened the government [2] because Democrats signaled a willingness to negotiate.

Related: Trump Still Not Willing to Cave on Border Wall Amid Longest Shutdown [4]

The border wall is already being built to an extent, despite the ongoing political fight back in Washington, D.C. The government already has some funding to construct segments of the border wall.

Congress approved more than $600 million for 33 miles of new barriers [5] in the Rio Grande Valley last March.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection refers to the plan as a border wall system. The agency released designs in September, which showed that [6] they intended to build 25 miles of concrete walls next to the Rio Grande River.

The plan also includes installing 18-foot steel posts on top of the concrete walls and clearing a 150-foot enforcement zone in front.

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