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Single Billionaire Credited with Abbott’s $54 Million Border Wall Fund

Featured, Government

Image of U.S. border wall. | Image by Arturo M. Enriquez

Banking tycoon Andrew Mellon’s son, Timothy Mellon, has recently donated $53.1 million to Governor Greg Abbott’s border wall project.

Abbott’s border wall foundation is a “crowd-sourced” fund, which can be accessed online. Despite being a predicted multi-billion dollar project, the Texas Tribune found that the private fund stalled at “$1.25 million around mid-August, two months after its launch.” According to Forbes, Mellon’s donation reignited the fund, despite Mellon never formally endorsing Abbott.

Timothy Mellon, the new lifeline for the border program, actually resides in Wyoming. Mellon comes from a line of wealthy bankers and currently owns Pan Am Systems, a railroad company. Forbes describes Mellon’s father, a prominent financial and industrial figurehead, as a “turn-of-the-century venture capitalist.”

Andrew Mellon was also involved in politics, becoming the U.S. Treasury Secretary for 11 years. Forbes places Mellon and his family’s net worth at around 11.5 billion.

An avid Republican himself, Timothy Mellon was a “top donor” towards Trump’s 2020 reelection. The Texas Tribune reports that Mellon gave $1.5 million to further an Arizona ruling that allowed police to demand the immigration status of suspected aliens. In addition, Mellon’s total political contributions reportedly total around $80 million, all given to the Senate and Congressional Leadership funds.

Governor Abbott has been engaged in a push for more border security throughout his leadership. On September 17th of this year, Abbott signed a colossal $1.8 billion bill promoting the reinforcement of the southern border (House Bill 9). Abbott commented on the bill, saying, “Our border crisis goes beyond the Rio Grande Valley and our South Texas communities — the smuggling of drugs, people, and weapons reaches far and wide throughout our state, and it affects all of us.”

Despite Governor Abbott’s efforts, funding for the border wall fund has slowed. According to the Tribune, Mellon’s $53 million currently accounts for 98% of the entire fund.

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