Dec. 21 (UPI) -- As Congress spars with President Donald Trump over financing his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, the Defense Department on Thursday awarded a contract to SLSCO Ltd. for its design-build construction project on the border.
The $166.8 million deal, SLSCO's second with the U.S. Defense Department since mid-November, will fund the Galveston, Texas-based company's work on the border, the Defense Department said. It has already been awarded a $145 million contract to construct six miles of a border wall near McAllen, Texas, in recent weeks.
That project will include 18-foot sections for levees, as well as lighting and surveillance equipment. SLSCO received another contract, worth $167.5 million, for its border work in mid-November.
Financing a proposed wall along the U.S. southern border, one of Trump's earliest campaign promises, has been a major point of division between the president and members of Congress as they race to pass a spending bill to prevent a partial government shutdown by midnight Friday.
Trump has requested $5 billion for the project.
For its most recently awarded contract, SLSCO will work in Tecate, San Diego and Calexico, Calif., and is expected to complete the job by July 2020.
A total of $166.8 million in fiscal 2018 omnibus funds were appropriated at the time of the award.
The project is being run through the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.