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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Trump Calls on Congress to Send Him a Budget That Includes Border Wall Funding

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President Trump demanded Friday that Congress send him a $1.5 trillion budget package that has been stalled in the Senate, saying the spending would be needed to avert a precipitous recession.

“We will find $1.5 trillion and, when I say, ‘Cut out some fat’ — well, maybe there is a fat and we’ll trim it, but we’ll find it,” Mr. Trump said at the White House in a speech in which he also again pushed for his campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mr. Trump suggested that $1.5 trillion would be enough to fund the proposed border wall. At a press conference on Wednesday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the president would consider buying the wall for $1.5 trillion.

Even before the video of the speech was released, Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said they would disagree with Mr. Trump’s suggestion.

Facing budget constraints, many Congress members have chosen not to fund Mr. Trump’s border wall request.

But Mr. Trump has threatened to do away with trade deals that lawmakers have already approved if they do not immediately approve the spending measure.

“We have to fund the wall. If we don’t, which I don’t think we should be, but at least we have to fund the wall, if we don’t fund the wall, we’re going to be going into another war with Mexico. And I don’t like going into wars,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump, who has called for an increase in defense spending, said a federal recovery package that he hoped lawmakers would approve could fund both infrastructure and immigration programs.

“It doesn’t really take that much and it will grow our economy very significantly,” Mr. Trump said.

Earlier this week, he said he was considering calling an emergency session of Congress if the proposal is not approved by Oct. 17. On Friday, Mr. Trump said the timing would be up to the House and Senate leadership.

During the same speech on Friday, Mr. Trump bashed Democrats for “too much obstruction” and acknowledged that many Republicans in Congress have been hesitant to support his budget proposal.

“This budget, I tell you, will mean a lot to the Republican Party, because they have got to love it,” Mr. Trump said.

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