U.S. president suggests he will find additional funding for border wall from ‘far less important areas’
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he wasn’t “happy” with a preliminary deal by U.S. lawmakers to provide funding for a border wall with Mexico but added another government shutdown was not likely.
“I can’t say I’m happy, I can’t say I’m thrilled,” he told a cabinet meeting in the White House. But he indicated he could supplement the offer from Congress from other sources and lay the dispute to rest.
“Wall’s getting built anyway,” he said, suggesting he would find additional funding from “far less important areas.”
U.S. lawmakers reached a preliminary deal to provide some funding for Trump’s wall but were waiting to see if he would accept the compromise and cancel the shutdown. At nearly $1.4 billion for wall construction, the budget agreed by Republican and Democratic lawmakers was far less than the $5.7 billion that Trump wanted.
Trump has not given a definite answer, telling a crowd of supporters at a rally in the Texas frontier city of El Paso late Monday only that there was “probably some good news, but who knows?”
The money, along with other border security measures, was presented as a workable deal to satisfy both sides and allow Trump to shelve his threat to shut down swaths of government on Friday.
In December, Trump tried to pressure Congress into approving the $5.7 billion by refusing to sign off on funding large parts of the government that have nothing to do with the wall, putting 800,000 jobs, from FBI agents to airport security, on hold for five weeks. The Democrats refused to budge and Trump was forced into an embarrassing climb-down, allowing new negotiations to open with a new deadline of this Friday.