Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Trump plans to ask for another $8.6B to fund border wall

As budget deficit balloons few in Washington seem to care As budget deficit balloons, few in Washington seem to care
Priscilla Morrison | 11 March, 2019, 00:24

Trump's budget request shows he plans to keep the border wall issue alive as the 2020 presidential campaign heats up.

One senior administration official said the $8.6 billion in additional funding, combined with the money Trump is attempting to redirect through a national emergency declaration, would allow the White House to complete at least 722 miles of new barriers - a figure that long has been a White House goal. We have a crisis down there.

Trump built his 2016 campaign around his promise of a wall, which he said Mexico would pay for.

The budget arrives as the Senate readies to vote this week to terminate Trump's national emergency declaration.

Announcement of the new budget proposal comes shortly after the federal government ended a historic 35-day partial shutdown over wall funding.

"The whole issue of the wall and border security is of paramount importance".

Mexican and USA officials outside of Trump are in agreement the country's southern neighbor has no intention of paying the billions in wall costs, particularly after this latest request for US taxpayer dollars.

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The demand is more than six times what Congress allocated for border projects in each of the past two fiscal years, and 6 percent more than Trump has corralled by invoking emergency powers this year. The budget proposal will also include another $3.6 million in military construction funding to make up for any projects delayed by the wall, officials said. "I think it's essential". Trump in December 2018 triggered the longest government shutdown in the nation's history over his demand for more than $5 billion to build his promised wall, according to multiple reports.

"He's going to stay with his wall, and he's going to stay with the border security theme", Kudlow continued. However, Trump tweaked his payment claims during this year's government shutdown and said Mexico will pay "indirectly" because of a "great new trade deal" that benefits the U.S.

Trump wanted $5.7 billion but Congress appropriated only $1.375 billion. It's the first since Democrats won control of the House in November's mid-term elections, and it'll will kick off months of bargaining over his spending requests and proposed funding cuts for many domestic programs. The Democratic-led House already did so, and Trump's Republican allies in the Senate, uneasy over his move, are expected to follow suit.

Trump has vowed to veto it should it come to his desk and neither chamber has the three-fourth majority required to override the president.

While an administration official anticipated complaints by saying, "Congress wants an automatic big-spending deal, and now they're upset because they lost their favorite talking point that the president's budget assumes a caps increase", that didn't stop some members of the GOP from going on the record saying the budget is a non-starter since Democrats will oppose it too.

Funding legislation needs to be passed before October 1 - the start of the 2020 federal fiscal year - or the government could shut down again.

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