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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

More money needed for border fence

September 10, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The Bush administration needs an extra $400 million to complete its fence along the country's Southwestern border, and government investigators say that may not be enough to finish construction by the end of this year.

To complete the 670-mile fence -- already half-built -- the administration has asked Congress to approve the use of $400 million set aside for other programs, said Jayson Ahern, the deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.

Higher costs of fuel, steel and labor have led to the shortfall, he said. Ahern is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill today. At the same hearing, the Government Accountability Office will tell lawmakers that staffing shortages and problems acquiring land could delay construction beyond the end of this year.

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