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Nation & World

Trump to seek $8.6 billion for US-Mexico wall

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will request at least $8.6 billion in new funding for the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border as part of his budget request to be released today. The budget will also assume continued robust economic growth in the U.S.

The president’s proposal asks for an additional $5 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security and $3.6 billion in new military construction funds, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plan before its release.

The request is in addition to the $6.7 billion that Trump hopes to allocate through executive action after declaring a national emergency in February over the border situation.

“The whole issue of the wall, of border security, is of paramount importance,” the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Sunday on Fox News. “We have a crisis down there.”

Trump rejected a bipartisan funding agreement in late 2018 because it didn’t include enough wall funding, leading to a 35-day federal government shutdown. He finally agreed to reopen the government when lawmakers provided him $1.375 billion for new border construction, and announced the national emergency.

The budget to be released today is the first since Democrats won control of the House in November’s midterm elections.

The budget also includes economic projections for the next decade, with the administration forecasting continued expansion.

The budget will project the economy growing at an average of 3 percent annually over the next decade, including 3.2 percent growth for 2019. The White House predicts the economy will grow 3.1 percent in 2020, 3 percent in 2021, and 2.8 percent in 2026.

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