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White House Will Request Less Border-Wall Funding This Year

People wave from behind the border fence in El Paso, Texas, October 26, 2019. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

The White House will request only $2 billion for border-wall construction in next fiscal year’s budget, with officials saying the administration has close to enough funding to start focusing on building new sections of wall.

Last year, the administration requested $5 billion for the wall, a priority for President Trump since the earliest days of his 2016 campaign, sparking a stand-off with Democrats in Congress, who refused to approve more than $1.375 for wall construction. That budget was finally signed after a record 35-day partial government shutdown beginning just before Christmas, 2018.

Afterwards, Trump declared the situation at the border a national emergency in February of last year, and the administration rerouted $3.6 billion from military construction projects to border wall construction.

Now, the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security will together put $8.4 billion toward wall construction, officials said. In all, the White House has collected $18 billion for the wall, which officials estimate will cover its goal of building approximately 1,000 miles of border wall, including 450 miles of new wall, by the end of 2020.

The administration has “now shifted from securing funds to being able to build more wall,” a senior White House official told The Daily Caller.

However, the White House upped its funding requests for several agencies who handle border operations, asking close to $10 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and $15.6 billion for Customs and Border Patrol.

While the Democratic majority in the House will likely reject the White House’s request for $2 billion to go toward wall construction, the number is closer to the $1.375 billion Congress approved last for fiscal year 2020.

The new proposed budget is expected to be released Monday.

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