Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) suggested last week that the $5 billion President Donald Trump is demanding for construction of his "border wall" would be better spent on education, healthcare, green jobs, and other priorities that actually have a tangible impact on people's lives, and a new survey published on Thursday found that most Americans agree.
According to a Business Insider poll—released as the government shutdown over wall funding continued into its sixth day—only 19 percent of respondents said a border wall would be "the best use" of $5 billion.
Meanwhile, 36 percent said $5 billion would be better spent on healthcare and 30 percent said they would want the funds to go toward infrastructure.
In total, 81 percent of respondents said the best use of the $5 billion would be on healthcare, education, or infrastructure, not the border wall.
The poll came after Ocasio-Cortez asked in a tweet: "What if we instead added $5.7 billion in teacher pay? Or replacing water pipes? Or college tuition/prescription refill subsidies? Or green jobs?"
And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall.
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What if we instead added $5.7B in teacher pay?
Or replacing water pipes?
Or college tuition/prescription refill subsidies?
Or green jobs?
But notice how no one’s asking the GOP how they’re paying for it. https://t.co/jXdm1w9bpy
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 21, 2018
According to the Washington Post's Jeff Stein, the U.S. could "cover 852,017 uninsured Americans" or "fund universal pre-K" with the $5.7 billion House Republicans want to give Trump for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
With no agreement to re-open the government in sight and as federal employees continue to work unpaid, Trump suggested in a series of tweets on Thursday that he has no plans of backing away from his demand for wall funding.