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Congress Approves Budget With No Border Wall Funding

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Congress has agreed to a $1 trillion budget but did not leave any funds for President Donald Trump's controversial border wall proposal.

Although no money has been set aside for the construction of sections of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Democrats and Republicans agreed to an additional $1.5 billion for border security, which one congressional aide described as "the most robust border security increase in roughly a decade," according to The Guardian.

The budget also increased defense spending by $12.5 billion, with the possibility of an additional $2.5 billion to be set aside to fight terrorist group ISIS.

Trump had originally requested a $30 billion increase in defense spending.

The passage of a budget prevents a feared government shutdown. And some Democrats took the lack of a border wall in the budget as a victory.

"Early on in this debate, Democrats clearly laid out our principles,” said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table," he added. "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."

But many Republicans had also opposed the border wall.

"Republicans in Congress don’t want the wall. And that is the most under-reported aspect of this whole skirmish," said Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, according to Politico. "Republicans in the leadership of both chambers actually hate that idea. They know it’s dumb."

Even Republicans in Texas, a state that shares a 1,254-mile border with Mexico, have voiced opposition to the construction of a border wall.

"Building a wall is the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border," said Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, according to The Washington Post. "Each section of the border faces unique geographical, cultural, and technological challenges that would be best addressed with a flexible, sector-by-sector approach that empowers the agents on the ground with the resources they need."

But the president insists he will continue fighting for a wall along the entire length of the border.

"Don't let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL," he tweeted on April 25. "It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc."

Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Politico, The Washington Post, Donald J. Trump/Twitter / Photo credit: Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons

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