Sen. Ted Cruz said on Tuesday that he wanted to use the forfeited assets of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the cartel kingpin who was convicted of drug trafficking, to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Texas Republican used Twitter to urge Congress to pass his Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act.
"U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder," Cruz said, adding: "It's time to pass my EL CHAPO Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to take swift action on this crucial legislation."
The bill would reallocate forfeited assets from Guzman and other drug lords toward "border security assets" and President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, Cruz said last month in a press release about reintroducing the proposal.
"By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people," Cruz said.
Guzman was found guilty on all counts of an indictment that included charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and use of firearms. He now faces life in prison in the US.
Cruz said US prosecutors were seeking $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from Guzman.
Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall prompted a record 35-day partial government shutdown in December and January. He told reporters on Tuesday that he was unhappy with a deal that would give him $1.4 billion for his border wall. Sources told CNN, however, that he would most likely sign it to avoid another shutdown.