All of Washington is speculating about the future of Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border.
The establishment thought they killed the project off.
But Trump is signaling he is going to fight to the end to fulfill his signature promise.
Government funding expires on April 28th.
Leadership in both parties is working toward a deal to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.
Pro-open borders politicians like Paul Ryan and Chuck Schumer hoped to shove the funding for the wall off to the side by using threats of a government shutdown.
But Trump is nearing the 100 day mark in office and is in search of another win.
To that end, his team is sending a message that they are insisting on funding to begin construction of the wall be included in the spending bill.
Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, delivered remarks that were intended to lay down a marker with Congress over wall funding.
“President Donald Trump’s budget director is threatening to withhold funding for Obamacare subsidies unless Democrats agree to help fund the border wall in the 2017 budget supplemental.
The offer follows weeks of determined Democratic opposition — amid determined waffling by top GOP leaders — to any funding for Trump’s wall during this year.
“We have our list of priorities,” budget director Mick Mulvaney said at a business conference on Thursday. He continued:
Won’t surprise anyone what some of them are. We want more money for defense. We want to build a border wall. We want more money for immigration, law enforcement. The Democrats may have some of their own priorities. I [already] indicated making some of these payments for the Obamacare subsidies is one of their priorities. Okay, that’s fine. We’re willing to be at that discussion if they want to have it and that’s what we’re telegraphing … we understand they have a certain amount of leverage in the Senate because we do need 60 votes [to get funding]. So we need some sort of bipartisan support in the Senate. They are entitled under that set of circumstances to get some of their priorities funded. It is ripe for some type of negotiated agreement that gives the president some of his priorities and Democrats some of their priorities. We think we’ve opened the door [to a compromise]. I know that we have.”
Trump has requested $1.4 billion to begin construction of the wall.
And he intends to play hardball to get it.
People familiar with the negotiations say Mick Mulvaney, the budget director, and Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, are pushing congressional appropriators to include “billions” for their agenda in private conversations. The White House, one person familiar with the conversations said, has pushed for $3 billion for the border wall, and discussions have been ongoing.
“The CR is our biggest focus right now,” one senior administration official said, referring to the continuing resolution on spending.
Trump transformed his candidacy from long-shot to victorious by championing a crackdown on illegal immigration.
That included a wall along the Mexican border.
Trump won the election, and that should have policy consequences.
But open borders politicians in both parties tried to block funding for a border wall.
The Trump administration fighting for this priority is a clear sign they will stand with the voters who put them in power by trying to make good on Trump’s campaign promises.