At the White House

“$23 BILLION”?: President Trump signaled he will sign the bipartisan border security deal hatched by Congress that secures $1.38 billion for 55 miles of physical barriers on the southern border, averting another government shutdown this week.

But because that number falls well short of the $5.7 billion he has been demanding, Trump is pledging to secure the rest through alternative means. “$23 BILLION for Border Security” is the number Trump arrived at via Twitter yesterday, claiming the deal will be “hooked up with lots of money from other sources.”

“I’m extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us,” Trump complained to reporters yesterday. But he added he would be securing additional money from “far less important areas.”

The White House has been identifying various ways to patch together wall money through executive action, shifting around funding from existing programs and/or by declaring a national emergency. The latter choice is more of a political risk, but Republican lawmakers yesterday indicated support for finding the wall money in whatever way possible.

  • “He ought to feel free to use any tools he can legally use to enhance his efforts to secure the border,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, adding that Trump “got a pretty good deal here.”
  • ” I do think most Republicans believe he has authority and determination to get the money through other means. But prefer that it happens through Congress,” a senior GOP aide on the Hill told us.

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