Health

Budget Chief Offers Compromise To Fund Border Wall

| by Lauren Briggs

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced April 21 that President Donald Trump's administration is willing to help Democrats fund the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare," if they agree to contribute to the proposed border wall construction.

According to Mulvaney, funding from the White House would likely come in the form of insurance company reimbursements, known as cost-sharing reduction, reports The Hill.

"We'd offer them $1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments," the budget chief explained to Bloomberg. "Right now that's the offer that we've given to our Democratic colleagues."

Trump's administration has indicated that the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is a high priority and they will do what they can to fund it.

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"We know there are a lot of people on the Hill, especially in the Democratic Party, who don't like the wall, but they lost the election," explained Mulvaney, according to The Washington Times. "And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration."

Mulvaney  April 20 that, more than anything else in the budget, Republican leaders are looking to pass "wall funding" and more money for immigration "agents," notes The Hill.

As the April 28 deadline to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year draws closer, the GOP is looking to work with Democratic legislators in order to avoid a government shutdown.

But Democrats might not be reluctant to accept the offer.

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"I think there's agreement, quiet agreement in the four corners, that if the president doesn't interfere and insist on poison-pill amendments to be shoved down the throat of the Congress, we can come up with an agreement," said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Schumer's spokesman Matt House told reporters that the White House was trying to "hold hostage health care for millions of Americans" to make taxpayers fund the wall.

"Everything had been moving smoothly until the administration moved in with a heavy hand. Not only are Democrats opposed to the wall, there is significant Republican opposition, as well," House said.

Despite Schumer's hesitance to work with the GOP on the wall, Mulvaney said that Republicans will not budge on the matter so easily.

"This president should be allowed to have his highest priorities funded even though the Democrats rightly have a seat at the table because of the Senate rules," he argue, according to The Hill. "But you cannot expect a president who just won [an] election to give up very easily on his highest priority."

Sources: The Hill, Bloomberg, The Washington Times / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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