Trump's budget seeks additional $8.6B border wall funds, to exceed $16B total
- President Donald Trump on Monday submitted a $4.7 trillion 2020 budget proposal to Congress for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, a request that includes a total of $8.6 billion for construction of barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. The funds would add to the $8 billion Trump is seeking through the declaration of a national emergency last month.
- The White House has asked Congress to allocate $18.2 billion to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection, $5 billion of which would be used to build 200 miles of new border wall. The administration requested that an additional $3.6 billion be given to the Department of Defense (DOD) for construction of "barriers to assist DHS in securing and managing the southern border."
- In addition to money for border wall construction, Trump has also proposed an infrastructure initiative that the administration says will generate $1 trillion of investment. These measures include a reauthorization of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015; $2 billion for Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants; $1.5 billion for the Capital Infrastructure Grants (CIG) program; $1 billion for Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants; a $300 million competitive grant program for bridge repair and replacement; $300 million for two new water infrastructure investment programs; and more.
In the 2020 budget, the president also made good on a promise he reportedly made earlier this month to Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky. The $3.8 billion budget request for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) construction and maintenance projects includes $1.2 billion for the replacement of the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and for construction of other medical facilities, seismic retrofits and expansions of VA cemeteries. The president has also requested almost $400 million for renovations of VA offices and existing patient care facilities and another $1.2 billion for maintenance and modernization of medical space.
What is sure to garner the most public attention, however, is the president’s attempt to secure $8.6 billion in additional border wall funding when it took a federal shutdown and intense negotiations to get Congress to agree to pay for just $1.4 billion earlier this year for 55 miles of wall construction via the latest spending bill.
In addition, Trump still faces the coming legal battles which will no doubt be launched by those opposed to his attempts to divert approximately $6.5 billion more for the wall from other agencies like the DOD through the declaration of a national emergency. The House already has passed a resolution terminating the declaration, and the Senate is expected to follow suit this week. However, the president has said he will veto any such measure that crosses his desk.
- The White House A Budget for a Better America
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