President Donald Trump on Monday will ask the U.S. Congress for an additional $8.6 billion to help pay for his promised wall on the U.S-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking, officials familiar with his 2020 budget request told Reuters.
The demand, which drew swift criticism from Democrats, is more than six times what Congress allocated for border projects in each of the past two fiscal years, and 6 percent more than Trump has corralled by invoking emergency powers this year.
Democrats, who oppose the wall as unnecessary and immoral, control the U.S. House of Representatives, making it unlikely the Republican president’s request will win congressional passage. Republicans control the Senate.
The proposal comes on the heels of a bruising battle with Congress over wall funding that resulted in a five-week partial federal government shutdown that ended in January, and could touch off a sequel just ahead of a trifecta of ominous fiscal deadlines looming this fall.
“President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall,” said Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer in a joint statement on Sunday.
“Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again. We hope he learned his lesson,” said the two top Democrats in Congress.