What $15B can buy in Washington

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  • FILE - In this April 13, 2014, file photo shows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building in Washington. If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

    FILE - In this April 13, 2014, file photo shows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building in Washington. If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is ... going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 26, 2014 file photo, the Environmental Protection Building (EPA) building and the Washington Monument can be seen from from the Old Post Office, now Trump International Hotel, in Washington. If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    FILE - In this April 26, 2014 file photo, the Environmental Protection Building (EPA) building and the Washington Monument can be seen from from the Old Post Office, now Trump International Hotel, in Washington. If one believes the back-of-the-... envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, a U.S. Army MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle travels near Qayyarah Air Base in northern Iraq. If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. (AP Photo/Susannah George, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, a U.S. Army MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle travels near Qayyarah Air Base in northern Iraq. If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President ... Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. (AP Photo/Susannah George, File) (The Associated Press)

If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. Here are a few examples of what the government could do with $15 billion:

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— Fund the Environmental Protection Agency for almost two years.

— Buy about 150 top-of-the-line F-35 fighter jets.

— Fund medical research at the National Institutes of Health for six months

— Pay for overseas military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for three months.

— Finance the IRS for eight months.

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— Cover the government's interest costs on the national debt for about three weeks.

— Provide food stamps to 45 million people for about two months.