Trump to seek another 8.6 billion USA dollars for border wall

Trump to seek another 8.6 billion USA dollars for border wall

Kerry Wise
March 12, 2019

Several lawmakers have said they expect the debt ceiling to be raised as part of a broader budget deal this summer or fall. The federal budget deficit is ballooning on Trump's watch and few in Washington seem to care.

The officials confirmed that the request was part of Trump's spending blueprint for the 2020 budget year that begins October 1.

"I don't think good growth policies have to obsess, necessarily, about the budget deficit", Kudlow said.

The budget document also includes economic projections for the next decade, with the administration forecasting continued expansion. The $4.7 trillion funding plan cuts foreign aid and DC spending, and gives a boost to the military and border security, as well as to countering Russia's "influence".

Now, the White House is asking Congress to make $2.7 trillion in cuts by paring discretionary domestic spending some 5 percent below fiscal 2019 budget caps, even as the Trump administration seeks to hike spending on its national defense priorities.

The White House plans to rely on this strategy next year, too, to get around budget caps.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to build a wall along the Mexico border.

"I suppose there will be", he said. "We're going to do our own (spending) caps this year and I think it's long overdue". Although the Trump Administration had requested major funding for the border wall, Republicans and Democrats could not agree to a budget that fully incorporated border wall funding, and the 2019 budget that eventually passed, just shy of an early February deadline, included only a bare minimum amount of wall funding.

The Republican president's $4.7 trillion (£3.57 trillion) budget was immediately panned by Democrats in Congress, who rejected his push past year for wall funding in a standoff that led to a five-week partial shutdown of the federal government.

Reuters reported an administration official saying Trump's budget request grants him the ability to "say he fulfilled his commitment".

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Democrats, who oppose the wall as unnecessary and immoral, control the US House of Representatives, making it unlikely the Republican president's request will win congressional passage.

Trump harmed millions when he "recklessly" shut down the government in pursuit of funds to build an expensive border wall, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a joint statement.

To try to extract more funds, Trump last month declared a "national emergency" and said he would redirect more than $6.7 billion from other programs to build even more sections of the wall.

The Democratic chair of the House budget committee, Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky, called the proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous".

He declared the emergency after Congress approved only $1.375 billion for construction of 55 miles (90 kilometers) of barriers along the border in Texas.

The proposal also cuts down on 29 programs that are either ineffective, not addressing national needs or could be better supported at the state or local levels, according to the Education Department.

But Kudlow said he was not anxious by some predictions the American economy will only advance a little more than 2 percent this year.

The White House budget calls for a number of new programs to reduce Medicare spending, including by increasing audits of payments through Medicare Advantage, instituting new changes to reduce other forms of "fraud and abuse", and changing hospital reimbursement rates.

A resolution opposing the emergency declaration quickly passed in the House, and the Republican-controlled Senate is poised to vote on that resolution this week. The administration put the blame on Congress for ignoring proposed cuts previous year, which has resulted in delaying when balance can be achieved.