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President Trump to Seek $8.6 Billion for U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Funding in New Budget Request

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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 Monday. The budget plan 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 requested anonymity to discuss the plan ahead of its release.

The request is in addition to the $6.7 billion that Trump is hoping to allocate through executive action after declaring a national emergency over the situation on the border in February, and is likely to tee up a new battle with Congress.

“The whole issue of the wall, of border security, is of paramount importance,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Sunday in an interview with Fox News. “We have a crisis down there.”

The White House request, reported earlier by Reuters, represents the first marker in what’s certain to be another protracted battle between the White House and congressional negotiators.

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 his plans for the national emergency.

Trump said he’s “stopping an invasion” of the U.S. in Twitter comments Saturday directed at conservative commentator Ann Coulter, whose criticism reportedly helped inspire his decision to hunker down for a record-long shutdown.

The request is just a part of the president’s 2020 budget blueprint, which he’s expected to present to lawmakers on Monday. It’s the first since Democrats won control of the House in November’s mid-term elections, and will kick off months of bargaining over his spending requests and proposed funding cuts for many domestic programs.

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

The budget document will project the economy growing at an average of 3 percent annually over the net decade, according to the official, 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. The economic projections were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The projections are at odds with those of many private forecasters. A Bloomberg survey puts the consensus U.S. GDP forecast for 2019 at 2.5 percent, trailing off to 1.9 percent in 2020 as the impact of the 2017 Republican tax cuts fades.

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