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Gregory Bull / AP

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officially opened its request for proposals to design and build President Trump's border wall on Friday, per WSJ.

Here's what they want it to look like:

  • About 30 feet high (minimum is 18 feet) and made of concrete or "alternative material"
  • Stretching all the way from San Diego to Brownsville
  • Including anti-climbing fixtures, and sturdy enough to withstand chisels and torches
  • Running at least 6 feet below ground to prevent tunneling
  • A "see-through" component would be ideal, and it should incorporate "sliding gates" to allow cars and pedestrians to pass through.
  • The U.S.-facing side of the wall should be "aesthetically pleasing", so it is consistent with the surrounding environment.

As of this week, more than 600 companies have begun to bid for the opportunity to build Trump's wall. The federal budget, released Thursday, calls for $1.5 billion to be allocated to the wall in FY17, and $2.6 billion in FY18.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.