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President Joe Biden called the current conditions at U.S.-Mexico border facilities are “totally unacceptable.” USA TODAY

Rep. Madison Cawthorn has proposed a fresh alternative for the unfinished U.S.-Mexico border wall championed by former President Donald Trump: turn it into a national monument.

The wall was a key piece in Trump’s election campaign in 2016. Cawthorn, a first-term Republican from North Carolina, is honoring Trump with the proposed bill, the “Donument” Act.

“For four years President Trump worked to secure the southern border of the United States by constructing a wall in places where there was little to no fencing,” Cawthorn said in an April 13 statement on the proposed legislation, H.R. 2390. “The Donument Act establishes the southern border wall as the ‘Southern Border Wall National Monument,’ and gives the monument permanent protection from alteration.”

During Trump’s four years in office, over 400 miles of border wall were built along the 1,933-mile-long border. Only 80 miles of it was built where there was no wall before, according to BBC News in January. There were roughly 654 miles of fencing present before Trump was president. 

President Joe Biden paused border construction with an executive order on his first day in office, saying that the wall was “not a serious policy solution” and a “waste of money.”

Cawthorn tweeted Tuesday morning that making the wall a national monument would be the first step to completing it.

“I will make every effort to protect and secure the southern border, and advance an America first agenda. If Biden refuses to finish the wall, you can be sure that American patriots will do everything in their power to protect it,” he added.

The passing of the bill would make the wall the 159th national monument, but it would need to pass the Democratic-controlled House. 

Cawthorn has been linked to Trump since the 25-year-old spoke at the Republican National Convention in August 2020. He also spoke at Trump’s rally before the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The youngest member of the House, Cawthorn has been the lead sponsor on nine bills since he was sworn into office in January, including making daylight saving time permanent and providing adequate mental health care to Capitol Police officers. The representative has been the subject of allegations that he sexually harassed classmates in college, and already has challengers for his seat in the 2022 election.

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.

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