Trump to Ask Congress for $8.6 Billion for the Border Wall in 2020 Budget

President Donald Trump is expected to ask Congress Monday for an additional $8.6 billion to pay for the construction of the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in his 2020 budget proposal.

A White House official confirmed that Trump will ask for another $8.6 billion for the border wall, including $5 billion from the Department of Homeland Security budget and $3.6 billion from the Pentagon’s military construction budget, Reuters reports. The proposal will include an additional $3.6 billion in military construction funds to pay back monies the Trump administration expects to be spent this year that the president redirected as a result of his emergency declaration.

The request is six times more than what Congress has appropriated for border projects in the past two fiscal years, and is six percent more than what the president has funneled through his emergency declaration.

The White House is proposing a five percent cut across federal agencies, except for those related to defense spending, as part of his 2020 budget plan, CNN reports.

The Department of Homeland Security is one of the few to see a boost in the budget proposal, as Trump is requesting the department receive a five percent increase in its budget, including $3.3 billion for Customs and Border Protection and $1.2 billion more for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to Reuters, the proposal includes a plan to hire more than 2,800 law enforcement and support personnel for the two agencies, as well as 100 immigration judge teams.

The budget proposal comes on the heels of the recent five-week partial government shutdown as a result of a battle between Congress and the White House over border wall funding.

Trump had demanded $5.7 billion in border wall funding for the 2019 fiscal year, but Congress only appropriated $1.375 billion for border fencing projects.

After not receiving what he had requested, Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border, and redirected $8.1 billion for the wall through $601 million in Treasury Department forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion in Defense Department drug interdiction funds and $3.6 billion from a military construction budget. Democrats and some Republicans opposed the president’s move and the precedent it could set for future presidents.

Lawmakers accused Trump of overstepping his constitutional powers to secure the funding for the wall, and the House has already voted to revoke his declaration. The Senate is expected to do the same this week, but the president has already vowed to use his first veto to block the disapproval resolution.  

Meanwhile, a coalition of states led by California have sued the administration to block the emergency declaration.  

Democrats, who have opposed the border wall, calling it immoral and unnecessary, currently hold the majority in the House, making it unlikely that the president’s budget proposal will pass.

This could potentially set off another budget fight just ahead of the looming fiscal deadlines that Congress faces. Funding legislation needs to be passed by the start of the 2020 fiscal year on October 1st, or face another shutdown. According to CNN, if Congress and the White House fail to lift the spending caps set in place by a 2011 law, automatic cuts to numerous program would take effect. Furthermore, Congress and the president must agree to lift the debt ceiling or risk a default.  

When asked about the new budget proposal and if there could be another fight over border wall funding on Fox News Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, “I suppose there will be ... He’s [Trump] going to stay with his wall and he’s going to stay with the border security theme. I think it’s essential.”