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Trump to seek $8.6B for border wall in 2020 budget

President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
March 11, 2019

President Donald Trump is expected to request $8.6 billion from Congress to build the southern border wall in his annual budget proposal.

Trump is expected to announce his proposed 2020 federal budget today, which will include $8.6 billion for the southern border wall, along with a series of budget cuts, for the first time since he’s submitted such a proposal in a divided Congress.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, “He’s going to stay with his wall and he’s going to stay with the border security theme. I think it’s essential,” the Associated Press reported Sunday.

The $8.6 billion comes in addition to the $8 billion that Trump has already allocated to the wall since last month.

Congress passed a bill in February that allocated just $1.375 billion for border security and permitted fencing for 55 miles – far below the $5.7 billion figure that Trump originally requested.

After saying he would approve Congress’ appropriations bill that included the $1.375 billion, Trump also declared a national emergency in order to divert an additional $6.5 billion from other federal departments and direct it to southern border security — totaling roughly $8 billion for more than 200 miles of steel border barriers.

However, Democrats are fighting to overturn the national emergency declaration, leaving the fate of that wall funding in jeopardy.

Trump’s new proposed wall funding isn’t likely to be approved by the Democrats, who have spoken out against Trump’s refusal to sign an appropriations bill without border wall funding, which led to a partial government shutdown lasting 35 days – the longest in history – and another near shutdown.

Trump’s upcoming budget proposal is reportedly titled “A Budget for a Better America: Promises Kept. Taxpayers First” and calls for higher defense spending, while cutting a staggering $2.7 trillion in non-defense spending.

“Many of the reforms that we have are not what we would call a cut. Many of them are savings and reforms to make programs work better,” said Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Budget and Management.

The proposal will include $750 billion in defense spending – up from $716 billion in the previous year’s budget.

“Our national debt nearly doubled under the previous administration and now stands at more than $22 trillion,” Voight said. “This budget shows that we can return to fiscal sanity without halting our economic resurgence while continuing to invest in critical priorities.”