The Border Wall Could Cost $15 Billion. Here’s What That Pays for in DC

If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. For comparison, here are a few examples of how far $15 billion of government funding can go.

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A work crew contracted by the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to set up a turbidity curtain, which prevents sediment and debris from flowing downstream, in the Gowanus Canal, October 24, 2016, in Brooklyn, New York.
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In this July 14, 2011, file photo released by U.S. Air Force, a 33rd Fighter Wing aircraft maintainer moves by an Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth, multi-role fighters, and the program is the most expensive military weapons system in history. President Donald Trump has sought to bring the price of the program down. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Samuel King Jr., File)
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A supermarket displays stickers indicating it accepts food stamps in West New York, New Jersey, Jan. 12, 2015.
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A soldier from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division waits to depart outside a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in the last convoy from Iraq at Camp Adder, now known as Imam Ali Base, on Dec.17, 2011, near Nasiriyah, Iraq.
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The National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing US debt, is seen on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 44th Street on August 1, 2011, in New York City.
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Federal tax forms are distributed at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service November 1, 2005, in Chicago.
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Gabrielle Barry, a research specialist at the AIDS Vaccine Research Labs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tests body fluids from rhesus macaque monkeys infected with the Zika virus searching for evidence of the virus on June 28, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin.
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