The Trump administration is shifting its border wall focus from procuring resources to breaking ground on new construction after securing funds for 1,000 miles of new wall along the southern border, White House officials tell the Daily Caller.
The fiscal year 2021 budget requests fewer funds for border wall construction than in previous years, but a senior White House official explained how the administration has “now shifted from securing funds to being able to build more wall.”
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said in January he expects to meet President Donald Trump’s goal of erecting 450 miles of new border wall construction by the end of 2020, and the White House maintained that optimism Sunday.
“On the border, there’s great news to report,” the official told the Caller. “The president has kept his promise to secure the border. With funding available, the administration will build up to approximately 1,000 miles of border wall along the southwest border.”
“The 2021 budget request, which has increases for infrastructure, technology, and law enforcement personnel, is what’s required to gain operational control of the border.”
According to White House officials familiar with the fiscal year 2021 proposal, the budget request for Customs and Border Patrol jumped to $15.6 billion, up roughly 7 percent from last year’s enacted total. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also saw a significant budget bump, with a funding request just shy of $10 billion.
CBP border enforcement actions dropped for seven consecutive months to end 2019, a decrease of more than 70 percent from May’s high point, which prompted Trump to declare a humanitarian crisis at the border.
Officials added that the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security will provide $8.4 billion to wall construction.
The White House is set to unveil its full 2021 proposal this week, and acting Office of Management and Budget director Russ Vought will appear at a congressional hearing on the request this Wednesday.
For the first time ever, Trump’s budget features an entire chapter devoted to saving taxpayers’ money and defines five clear categories of “wasteful” government spending requiring financial cuts, documents reviewed by the Daily Caller show. (RELATED: New Trump Budget Includes First Ever Chapter Defining Government Waste, Targets Programs To Eliminate Entirely)
The cuts will target agencies with overlapping and similar goals, agencies that provide similar or identical services to the same group of recipients, programs without a clearly defined federal role, federal programs that mirror state-level initiatives and erroneous payments, and for eliminating the following programs entirely:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Education and Research Centers
- Department of the Interior’s Highlands Conservation Act Grants
- National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures Grants
- National Endowment for the Arts Endowment for the Humanities
- Corporation for National and Community Service (including AmeriCorps)