Border Wall Funding in The 2020 Defense Budget?

Position:BUDGET MATTERS
 
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Rumors are swirling that the Trump administration will include money to build a wall on the Southwest border in its fiscal year 2020 defense budget request, a move that would likely encounter stumbling blocks on Capitol Hill, analysts say.

Construction of a strong barrier across the U.S.-Mexico border has been a centerpiece of President Donald Trump's political platform. So far, Democrats in Congress have not heeded his demands for robustly funding the project--which has been estimated to cost upwards of $20 billion--through Department of Homeland Security appropriations.

Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said she's heard that anywhere from $5 billion to $ 12 billion in homeland security funding--including for a border wall--could be included in the Pentagon's 2020 budget blueprint, which is expected to be released in mid-March.

Such a move would violate "the spirit of the accounting system and the budget process and the [congressional] committee jurisdiction," she said during a panel at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Opposition from lawmakers would likely ensue.

"I heard ... there's going to be money in [the 2020 Pentagon budget] for the wall, which is a nonstarter which is just going to further complicate any kind of [defense appropriations] bill to get done this year," Bruce Hock, vice president of government affairs for SAIC Corp. and a...

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