Trump border wall request will set up new budget fight, adviser says

Trump border wall request will set up new budget fight, adviser says

Despite active work on a bipartisan deal, the president declared a national emergency in February to secure the funding his administration felt was necessary to build barriers along the southern border. 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's budget request shows he plans to keep the border wall issue alive as the 2020 presidential campaign heats up.

The president is proposing a 5 percent cut for domestic discretionary spending, while at the same time calling for a boost for the Defense Department, to $750 billion next year.

Even with the stiff congressional opposition, Trump's new budget request shows that he plans to continue fighting on the issue in the coming months.

The budget proposal "gives the president the ability to say he has fulfilled his commitment to gain operational control of the southwest border", an administration official told Reuters.

Kudlow, a former Wall Street analyst and now the director of the National Economic Council, described Trump's administration budget strategy as "exactly the right prescription". Kudlow also said he was confident economic growth would top 3% in 2019 and beyond. Others have predicted lower growth.

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

"President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico", Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday in a joint statement.

"At a time when our country faces challenges about jobs for the future, this money would better be spent on rebuilding America, and on education and workforce development for jobs for the 21st Century", the statement continued.

His move has already been challenged in court with a coalition of 16 USA states led by California suing Trump and top members of his administration in an attempt to block his emergency declaration. Many lawmakers view the declaration as an overreach of executive power.

Asked on Fox News Sunday about the new funding request and if there would be another budget fight over Trump's wall, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, "I suppose there will be".

For fiscal 2019, Trump demanded $5.7 billion in wall funds, but Congress appropriated only $1.375 billion for border fencing projects.

Employing a 2017 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposal, Monday's White House gambit for wall funding would take a reported $3.6 billion from the Pentagon's military construction budget, as well as $5 billion from the budget of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to construct some 722 miles of barrier, according to Reuters. "Finish the wall" is already a feature of his re-election campaign, a rallying cry plastered across banners and signs at his campaign rallies.

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