President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall. But as the question of money for his campaign proposal once again roils Congress, one man thinks he may have found a solution: crowd-funding.
Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old Florida resident who was severely wounded in the Iraq war, has started a GoFundMe campaign to complete Trump’s signature pledge. The campaign has raised more than $7 million in the three days since it started, with an overall goal of $1 billion.
The haul so far makes Kolfage’s effort one of the largest GoFundMe campaigns of the year, currently fourth on the site. The Florida veteran’s fundraising page ranks ahead of the nearly $4 million raised for the March for Our Lives in Washington, the anti-gun violence rally organized by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but trails the largest campaign for the year, the Time’s Up legal defense fund, which has raised more than $22 million.
Trump initially told congressional leaders that he would accept nothing less than $5 billion for his wall in a bill to keep most of the federal government open. Estimates for the total costs of a wall have varied — even Trump has changed his mind on an original vision for a continuous stretch along the entire border — but it usually falls somewhere in the $12 billion to $20 billion range. A staff reportwritten for Senate Democrats argued that the price could be as high as $70 billion.
In a statement on the campaign’s site, Kolfage said the $1 billion is the current max for GoFundMe, but he is working to increase it. He added that if the roughly 63 million Americans who voted for Trump were each to donate $80, they would be able to raise the $5 billion the president is asking Congress for.