White House Fights for Border Wall Funding in Trump Budget

Border Wall J. MooreGetty
J. Moore/Getty
Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump Administration fiscal year 2018 budget set to be released on Tuesday dedicates $1.6 billion specifically for new and replacement southern border wall, in accordance with Trump’s signature “build the wall” campaign promise.

Initial documents released to reporters on Monday detailed $1.6 billion set aside for “new and replacement border wall in locations identified by the Border Patrol as operational priorities to impede the flow of illegal crossings.”

Another $1 billion is largely broken up between providing air assets, equipment and facility needs, surveillance technology, road construction and maintenance, and a portion to “recapitalize non-intrusive inspection equipment at ports of entry.”

There is another over $300 million listed in summary pages that is marked for “recruiting and hiring additional agents, officers, investigators, attorneys, and support staff at CBP and ICE, as well as investments at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to begin training the surge of new enforcement staff.”

During a Monday press briefing, Office of Management Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters that the budget provides money to meet the President’s campaign promises. One of these was money for border security, specifically, “That means bricks and mortar for a wall, technology, people, infrastructure at the border.”

The Donald Trump presidential campaign website states that the President has been making good on his promise. The site lists an Executive Order establishing border wall funding and acceptance of bids from contractors seeking to build the wall as evidence that the administration is working toward fulfilling this major campaign promise.

The budget is set to be released on the Office of Management and Budget website at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The “Budget Blueprint” already posted to the site lists numbers in line with those set to be released on Tuesday.

Mulvaney told reporters that he will be delivering the budget to the “budget folks” in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate on Tuesday as well. He said he would be testifying in front of the House Budget Committee on Wednesday and on Thursday in front of the Senate Budget Committee.

Mulvaney indicated that much of the Trump Administration Budget hinges on the passage of the House passed American Health Care Act and passage of tax reform. Tax reform as outlined by the Trump Administration remains in the early stages, but the President has repeatedly expressed that tax reform is a huge priority of the administration.

The budget is entitled “A New Foundation for American Greatness.”

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