Donald Trump revives fight for border wall with new budget request

Donald Trump revives fight for border wall with new budget request

US President Donald Trump is reviving his border wall fight, preparing a new budget that will seek 8.6 billion US dollars (€7.6bn) for his signature project.

The new budget will also impose steep spending cuts to other domestic programmes and set the stage for another fiscal battle.

Budget documents like the one Mr Trump is releasing are often seen as just a starting point of negotiations.

Fresh off the longest government shutdown in history, Mr Trump's 2020 proposal shows he is eager to confront Congress again to boost defence spending and cut 2.7 trillion US dollars in non-defence spending over a decade.

Mr Trump's proposal "embodies fiscal responsibility", said Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Mr Vought said the administration has "prioritised reining in reckless Washington spending" and shows "we can return to fiscal sanity".

He confirmed that the 8.6 billion US dollars border request was part of Mr Trump's spending blueprint for the 2020 budget year, which begins on October 1. It would pay for hundreds of miles of new barriers along the US-Mexico border.

Mr Vought said "the border situation is deteriorating by the day", adding there had been "record numbers of apprehensions".

An administration official said Mr Trump's budget proposes increasing defence spending to 750 billion US dollars (£576 billion) - and standing up the new Space Force as a military branch - while reducing non-defence accounts by 5%, with cuts recommended to safety-net programmes 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.

While pushing down spending in some areas, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the proposal will seek to increase funding in others to align with the president's priorities, according to one official.

The border wall, though, remains a signature issue for the president and is poised to stay at the forefront of his agenda, even though Congress has resisted giving him more money for it.

Leading Democrats immediately rejected the proposal.

"Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

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