President Donald Trump will seek $8.6 billion in his new budget to build the US-Mexico border wall, two administration officials said Sunday, setting up another showdown with Congress, which has resisted giving him more money for his signature campaign promise. The request would more than double the $8.1 billion already available to the president after he declared a national emergency at the border in order to circumvent Congress once lawmakers refused his funding demands, the AP reports. That standoff led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in US history. The officials confirmed that the request was part of Trump's spending blueprint for the 2020 budget year that begins Oct. 1.
That document, which sets the stage for negotiations ahead, proposes boosting to defense spending to $750 billion while reducing nondefense accounts by 5%, with cuts recommended to safety net programs used by many Americans. The plan sticks to budget caps that both parties have routinely broken in recent years and promises to come into balance in 15 years, relying in part on economic growth that may be uncertain. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss budget details before Monday's release of the plan and spoke on condition of anonymity. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump's budget "points a steady glide path" toward lower spending and borrowing as a share of the nation's economy.
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