Despite declaring a national emergency and subsequently allocating billions in government funds toward the construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border, President Donald Trump reportedly seeks even more money — preferably from Congress.
“President Donald Trump on Monday will ask the U.S. Congress for an additional $8.6 billion to help pay for the wall he promised to build on the southern border with Mexico to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking,” Reuters confirmed Sunday, citing sources within the White House.
If approved, the request would redirect $5 billion from the Department of Homeland Security’s budget and $3.6 billion from the Pentagon’s military construction budget.
“The budget proposal also would include $3.6 million in military construction funding to help fund projects affected by the wall,” Reuters added.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, each 1 million illegal aliens costs us $69.6 billion. What kind of idiots would refuse $8.6 billion to build a wall? Unless, of course, they had ulterior motives – like illegals voting! Gotcha Demoncrats!!https://t.co/1Yoxu9yqz7
— Samuel Sayer -“Are we not men?!” H.G. Wells (@SamuelTheSayer) March 10, 2019
In addition to being used to fund the construction of a wall, the $8.6 billion would reportedly also be used to hire 2,800 immigration enforcement personnel and 100 immigration judge teams.
This announcement comes a month after Trump declared a national emergency and redirected $601 million in Treasury Department forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion in Defense Department drug interdiction funds and $3.6 billion from the military construction budget toward the wall.
Since the declaration, he’s repeatedly claimed that construction of the wall has begun. As recently as last Friday he wrote that construction of the wall is in fact “ahead of schedule.”
“The Wall is being built and is well under construction. Big impact will be made. Many additional contracts are close to being signed. Far ahead of schedule despite all of the Democrat Obstruction and Fake News!” he tweeted.
The Wall is being built and is well under construction. Big impact will be made. Many additional contracts are close to being signed. Far ahead of schedule despite all of the Democrat Obstruction and Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2019
It’s unclear how much of the ongoing construction involves replacing existing fencing versus erecting new walls in vulnerable spots along the border that currently boast no barrier at all.
Trump administration officials have confirmed with The Daily Caller that, as of last week, 111 miles of new or replacement walls were in the process of being built.
For some inexplicable reason, the media have argued that replacing existing fencing with fortified walls doesn’t count as “building the wall.”
Trump tweeted a video of the building of steel fencing in southern New Mexico with the all-caps proclamation “THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW!” This is misleading. It’s just a replacement of a 20-mile section of existing vehicle barriers. https://t.co/ItlaSGgirs
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) February 24, 2019
It’s unclear how replacing weak fences with a sturdy wall isn’t the same as building a wall …
The video mentioned in the tweet above can be seen below:
On the same day that the president declared a national emergency, he signed an omnibus spending bill drafted by Congress that appropriated $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border fencing.
All together, and including funding secured from prior years, the president has raised enough money to build 445 miles of walling, according to analysis by The Daily Caller. This is only 277 miles short of the total 772 miles of walling the administration seeks to build.
Note that this calculation assumes that the courts won’t impose an injunction on the president’s order. But even if an injunction were to be placed, the Supreme Court would likely eventually rule in Trump’s favor.
What remains unclear is whether Congress will approve the additional $8.6 billion he seeks. The chances seem slim, given that they were so opposed to giving him just $5.7 billion that they forced the government into a shutdown last December. The shutdown lasted slightly over a month.
The good news for government workers is that the next round of funding legislation doesn’t need to be passed until Oct. 1, thus giving Congress seven months to work out a deal. The bad news is that another shutdown fight is likely to occur.
Plan on shutdown in October….
— Ernesto (@EJFoto) March 10, 2019
So, October shutdown?
— TJ (@TJishsh) March 9, 2019
New Federal budget to be proposed on Monday.
New shutdown to come in October.
— Jim Wright (@JWr1ghtBra1n) March 9, 2019
“Well, I suppose there will be,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday on Fox News. “I would just say that the whole issue of the wall and border security is of paramount importance. We have a crisis down there. I think the president has made that case very effectively.”
“It’s a crisis of economics. It’s a crisis of crime and drugs. It’s a crisis of humanity. We have to be much tougher and have more constructive immigration policy, which we will be developing over a period of time. So, yes, he’s going to stay with us while and he’s going to stay with the border security and I think it’s essential.”
He added that the president is also “proposing roughly a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in domestic spending accounts.”
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