With attention finally shifting to next major – and potentially damaging – catalyst for the Trump administration and the governing Republicans, namely the all too real threat of a government shutdown on April 28, which falls on Day 100 of the Trump presidency, the most immediate casualty of the mounting financial considerations may be Trump’s marquee project, the “Great Big Wall” with Mexico. Specifically, Trump’s demand for $1.5 billion this year to fund the initial phase of wall construction along the Mexican border could be in jeopardy as fellow Republicans in Congress are delaying a decision on the request, according to Reuters; previously the news wire reported that the wall could end up costing as much as $21.6 billion, far more than the $12 billion Trump cited.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, confirmed that he had received the $1 billion request for supplemental funding that would build an estimated 62 miles of the border wall, according to The Hill. It also includes a $2.8 billion request for border infrastructure and technology for next year as well.
Blunt, a member of the GOP leadership, told reporters on Tuesday that money for the wall likely would not be coupled with a spending bill that must pass by April 28 to avoid shutting down federal agencies whose funding expires then. Blunt also said he was not willing to commit to the supplemental funding request. “All of the committees, House and Senate leaderships, are working together to try to finalize the rest of the FY17 bill,” he added. My guess is that “comes together better” without Trump’s additional request for the border wall and military programs and could be considered “at a later time.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 29, 2017.