- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2019

A Wisconsin congressman has announced legislation that would allow Americans to donate money to the government earmarked specifically to build President Trump’s wall.

Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman said the legislation would create a trust fund specifically for money that could be used to design, plan and build a border barrier.

The bill, if it became law, could answer one concern people have over efforts already under way online to raise money for the border wall. Under current policy, donations can be made to a government department such as Homeland Security, but they cannot be specifically earmarked for a project such as the wall.

“Concerned Wisconsinites frequently ask me if there is a way they can personally contribute to the funding of a border wall. As it stands now, there isn’t,” Mr. Grothman said. “That’s why I am proud to answer the call of Wisconsinites in the Sixth District and introduce this bill that will fulfill their request to strengthen national security.”

Efforts on GoFundMe.com to raise donations for a border wall have been underway for months, though until recently they drew little attention. But as Mr. Trump’s wall demands led to a shutdown, interest grew among the president’s fans to use their own money to show support.

One effort by a wounded veteran had raised nearly $19.7 million as of Sunday evening.

Those online efforts, though, rely on the organizers to follow through, and even then, they must comply with restrictions on donations to the federal government.

The wall debate has also spurred Mr. Trump’s opponents to go online for funding, with pages to pay for border ladders, tunnels and escalators to help migrants popping up on GoFundMe.

Organizers of those pages say they aren’t actually encouraging illegal immigration, and plan to donate the money they raise to immigrant-rights groups.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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