President Trump is keen to build US-Mexico border wall to prevent illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Today, he will be asking Congress for an additional $8.6 billion, according to the officials who know 2020 fiscal budget.
Republicans rivals openly criticized the proposal for the southern border wall which they think it to be immoral and unnecessary. The new budget request is six times what Congress allocated for border wall in the past two fiscal years and 6 percent more than what Trump gathered by invoking emergency in the nation rendering the longest shutdown in US history.
A few months back, Trump demanded $5.7 billion for the wall and when Democrats and some of Republicans opposed he shut down the government for the fund.
“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,” said Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer in a joint statement on Sunday.
“Congress refused to fund his wall, and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again. We hope he learned his lesson,” said the two top Democrats in Congress.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News when asked about the new funding request or if there will be any new budget fight, “I suppose there will be, he is going to stay with his wall and he’s going to stay with the security theme. I think it’s essential.”
“The president is proposing roughly a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in domestic spending accounts, “he further added.
“It gives the president the ability to say he has fulfilled his commitment to gain operational control of the southwest border,” an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the budget request.
“We have provided the course of action, the strategy and the request to finish the job. It’s a question of, will Congress allow us to finish the job,” a second administration official said.
Funding has to pass before October 1st which will mark the start of the 2020 federal fiscal year, or it may lead to another shutdown.
Southern US-Mexican border wall is 722 miles (1,162 km) long, and its cost is estimated around $18 billion and out of which 111 miles (179 km) of the wall has been built. In the fiscal year 2017, $341 million were allocated for 64 km of the wall, and $1.375 billion were given for 82 miles (132 km) of the wall in 2018.