Society

Mulvaney: Budget Deal Includes Funding For Steel Wall

| by Jordan Smith

Mick Mulvaney, the director of President Donald Trump's Budget Office, has stated that the budget deal reached between congressional Republicans and Democrats contains funding for a steel border wall.

Mulvaney made the comments May 2 at a White House press briefing, according to The Washington Times.

The agreement, which averted a government shutdown, did not include funding for Trump's proposed border wall. Mulvaney noted, however, that some Republican demands had been secured, including the building of steel walls at certain border points.

"That's what we got in this deal and that's what Democrats don't want you to know," Mulvaney said, according to the Times.

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Congress still has to endorse the deal by May 5.

"There's several hundred of millions of dollars for us to replace the cyclone fencing with 20-foot high steel wall," he added, referring to sections of the border where fences are currently in place.

He added that the structure would soon appear, noting, "We are building this now."

More broadly, Mulvaney indicated his satisfaction with the $1.5 billion increase in funding for border security.

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"That's where this negotiation has taken us -- to the largest increase in border security in 10 years," he said.

Democrats declared victory on a number of points following the conclusion of the deal, including the deal's failure to cut funding for sanctuary cities and Planned Parenthood.

However, Republicans called for the border security funding increase and also secured a $15 billion hike in defense spending.

"This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table," Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York said in a statement, according to The Hill. "The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren't used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure."

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont echoed these sentiments.

"I am especially glad this agreement does not include a single penny for the construction of a misguided wall along our southern border," Leahy said. "This bipartisan agreement eliminates more than 160 poison pill riders that would have been devastating for the environment, put restrictions on consumer financial protections and attacked the Affordable Care Act."

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was surprised at the Democrats' enthusiasm over the lack of funding for a border wall.

"I am shocked at the behavior of some individuals in public service or public office that are rejoicing in the fact that the wall will be slower to be built and consequently, the southwest border under less control than it could be," he said, according to Politico.

Sources: The Washington Times, The Hill, Politico / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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