Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said yesterday (March 28) that money for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall will likely be excluded from the FY2017 government spending bill needed to fund government for the rest of the year.
Congress must pass the bill by April 28 or face partial government shutdown. The president wants it to include a $1.5 billion supplemental funding bill to begin work on the wall this year, but Blunt said that would complicate negotiations with Democrats, who are threatening to block any bill that includes money for the wall.
“All of the committees, House and Senate leaderships, are working together to try to finalize the rest of the FY17 bill,” Blunt said, per the BBC. “My guess is that comes together better without the supplemental.” Instead, the senator said that Trump’s requested supplemental funding could be dealt with “at a later time,” according to news reports.
Latino, environmental and civil rights organizations have already responded to this news with excitement.
“We applaud members of Congress in both houses who have stood up to attempts to turn campaign demagoguery into misguided policy that wastes taxpayer money and does nothing to make our country safer,” said Laura M. Esquivel, director of the National Advocacy for Hispanic Federation, in a press release sent to Colorlines.
In that same release, GreenLatinos President Mark Magana said:
We thank our allies in Congress for their decisive stand against the president’s border wall. A border wall is harmful to our environment, our communities, and is against our basic values as Americans. This wall is a waste of our resources and is unquestionably an ineffective border security strategy.
In today’s (March 29) press briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer addressed a question on the wall, saying that the president continues to work with Congress on the rest of this fiscal year’s budget.