With only a portion of a proposed border wall completed between the U.S. and Mexico, how much more of that construction will secure federal funding remains an open question.
In a lively exchange in the White House, President Trump told House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer that he would risk a government shut-down in order to get the money needed for the wall’s continued construction.
“I am proud to shut the government down for border security, Chuck,” Trump at one point told Schumer. “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”
A stopgap spending bill providing some $5 billion for the border wall project may be introduced in the House of Representatives. The Democrat leadership has called for $1.3 billion in border wall spending.
If Congress and the White House are unable to agree on a spending plan, around a quarter of the federal government’s $1.2 trillion operating budget would be held up, resulting in the closure of government offices and some services across the country.
Trump has said that he wants the $5 billion to expand border wall work already underway.
That work includes a 20-mile replacement wall being built in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
Last month it was announced that a 32-mile pedestrian replacement wall, costing $324 million, would go up on the Arizona/Mexico border.
Meanwhile, a $145 million levee wall system in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is set to see construction beginning in February.
By Garry Boulard
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