US President Donald Trump will seek $8.6 billion in fresh funding in the 2020 budget request for the controversial border wall he insists is needed to keep out criminals and illegal migrants from Mexico, a move that will likely trigger another row with Congress, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday.
The request, which will be formally unveiled Monday, would far exceed the $5.7 billion the president demanded last year, which led to an impasse that caused a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government, the longest ever.
Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer condemned the move, warning Trump that he would face another legislative defeat.
Kudlow told the US television program Fox News Sunday that the new request would likely mean a renewed fight in Congress over wall funding.
“I suppose there will be,” he said.
But he said Trump “is going to stay with his wall. He is going to stay with his border security. I think it’s essential.”
Separately, Kudlow expressed optimism that US economic growth will surpass 3% “in 2019 and beyond.”
With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, there appears to be little chance that Trump’s new wall-funding request will be successful.
In a joint statement, Pelosi and Schumer said 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.”
They added, “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.”
The Washington Post reported that the president’s request for wall funding would come in the form of $5 billion from the Homeland Security Department and $3.6 billion from the Pentagon.
That would be in addition to the $6.7 billion in wall funding that Trump has ordered redirected from other government programs under a national emergency he declared last month.
He declared the emergency after Congress approved only $1.375 billion for construction of 90 kilometers of barriers along the border in Texas.
The emergency declaration was widely criticized by Democrats and even some Republicans, who said it was an overreach of presidential authority that may violate the constitution.
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse