Politics

Trump Wants Full Border Wall Funding This Year

At event on sanctuary cities, president attacks California officials

President Donald Trump outlines his plan to lower the price of prescription drugs during a speech in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has threatened a government shutdown unless Congress hands him more funding for his proposed southern border wall. Now he’s demanding full funding for the project this year.

Trump said he will attempt to secure full funding for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall during the next congressional appropriations process. That would mean he will demand both chambers approve up to $25 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border barrier, a figure pitched earlier this year by senior White House officials.

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During a White House event on so-called sanctuary cities, the president said his administration already has “started the wall.” But that contention has been challenged by critics who say the administration is merely replacing existing barriers; they also say new construction has been limited to eight wall prototypes Trump visited earlier this year.

But Trump on Wednesday declared of the wall he promised to build as a candidate: “We’ve made a lot of progress on it.”

The president criticized California and its leaders for what he said was inadequate coordination with federal immigration authorities, going so far as to say he “would recommend” Justice Department officials look into obstruction of justice charges against Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for tipping off residents of a coming ICE raid earlier this year. The Justice Department already is looking into her actions.

California’s governor was unimpressed. 

“@realDonaldTrump is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA. Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth largest economy in the world, are not impressed,” Democrat Jerry Brown tweeted on Wednesday.

Senate Democrats, however, have objected to simply handing Trump all the monies needed to complete the project. They have the numbers to block the wall funding — or to demand concessions from Trump and Republicans in return.

The disagreement over how much funding Congress should allocate in a single bill for the proposed barrier helped sink a Senate effort earlier this year to pass an immigration measure. And it could bring the country to the brink of a government shutdown later this year — just weeks before November’s congressional elections.

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Trump also slammed Mexican leaders, saying they do “nothing for us … especially at the border.” He also contended that all Mexican leaders do is “talk” — a comment coming as his own trade negotiators try to hash out a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. 

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