Politics

Trump No Longer Demands Border Wall Funding

| by Ray Brown

President Donald Trump is no longer demanding a down payment from Congress to begin construction of a wall along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Associated Press reported that Trump announced April 24 that  is willing to table the issue until September, but is unlikely to garner enough support to pass. Democrats and many Republicans are staunchly opposed to the multi-billion dollar project.

"The president's comments this evening are welcome news given the bipartisan opposition to the wall, and the obstacle it has been to the continuing bipartisan negotiations in the appropriations committees," said Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to the AP.

"It's good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations," said Democratic Senate Minorty Leader Charles Schumer of New York. "Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues."

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Trump's decision not to insist on funding for a border wall could help avoid a potential standoff on budget legislation scheduled for an April 28 deadline, according to CNN.

"I'm optimistic. I don't think anybody wants a shutdown," said Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. "The White House and basically the minority leaders of the House and Senate have to have some level of agreement on the things that you're adding."

A border wall was a cornerstone of Trump's campaign. "Build the wall" was chanted by his supporters at rallies across the country during the 2016 presidential campaign and he signed an executive order soon to begin the project after his inauguration.

And even though he appears to be backing off the wall, he is telling supporters that he will continue to fight for it -- just not right now.

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"Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him," said Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, according to the New York Times. "But we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year. And in the interim, you see other smart technology and other resources and tools being used toward border security."

Trump also insists that Mexico will pay for the wall -- another campaign promise that has appeared to go by the wayside after months of budget arguments.

"The president has been very clear" that "in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall, that he was going to have to use the current appropriations process," said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. "But he would make sure that that promise would be kept as far as the payment of it."

Sources: AP, CNN, New York Times / Photo Credit: Tomascastelazo/Wikimedia Commons

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