Trump to Insist on Border Wall Funding as Budget Deadline Looms

By Brody Mullins Features Dow Jones Newswires

A partisan clash over President Donald Trump's border wall is heightening chances of a government shutdown next weekend as members of the Trump administration and congressional Democrats drew sharp lines in the sand on Sunday.

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Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," said it is likely that Mr. Trump will insist on including money to fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in a bill this week to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year. "He will do the right thing, for sure, but I suspect he will be insistent on the funding," Mr. Kelly said.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney underscored the importance of including money for the Mexican wall in the bill, a sentiment that Mr. Mulvaney also expressed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

"It's not like we're inserting something that the president didn't talk about on the campaign," Mr. Mulvaney told the Journal Friday. "It should come as a surprise to no one that President Trump wants money for a Southern border wall."

Democrats on Sunday said that insisting on the border wall funding could be a mistake. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, a senior Democrat, called the funding "a political stunt" that could threaten the ability of Congress to approve a must-pass bill this week to keep the government open. Mr. Durbin said his message to the president is: "Don't try any political stunts... don't put any poison pills into the process."

In his interview with the Journal, Mr. Mulvaney said "elections have to have consequences" and, like former President Barack Obama, Mr. Trump is "entitled to have some of his priorities funded."

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He added: "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the wall is one of his top if not his top priority. He wants to get it built."

Write to Brody Mullins at brody.mullins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2017 11:43 ET (15:43 GMT)