House passes spending bill with $1.6B to begin border wall

Trump's border wall rises in GOP agenda

It is considered to be virtually impossible that eight Senate Democrats will join with the GOP to pass the budget bill including the wall funds.

The $1.6 billion towards a border wall is far short of projected costs to fund the entire project.

The bill includes spending bills for defense and veterans programs, legislative branch operations and the Department of Energy.

Rep. Ruben Galllego, D-Phoenix, took to the House floor to attack President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender soldiers, a move Gallego said was merely made to secure votes for border wall funding. Tom O'Halleran of Sedona and Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix - were among the five who broke ranks with their party and voted for the minibus.

The House voted Thursday to back the first installment of money for President Trump's border wall, surmounting Democrats' objections and giving the White House a substantial - though potentially short-lived - victory.

The report by FAIR acknowledged the importance of a border wall for security, but also said the idea would be a "sound fiscal investment", saving Americans in the long run a total of $113 billion in costs from widespread illegal immigration. Trump is pushing for a sweeping increase for the Pentagon and commensurate cuts of more than $50 billion, or 10 percent, from domestic agencies and foreign aid. Some GOP members of Congress were anxious that bill could get hung up on demands from some members to ban government funding of gender reassignment surgery, according to Politico.

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Republicans from border states, swing-district lawmakers, and Republicans representing sizable Hispanic populations tend to oppose the wall but are backing it because the money will be paired with politically sacrosanct funding for troops in the field and health care for veterans.

However, the bill needs to be passed by the Senate - where the opposition Democrats are in a large strength - before it can be signed into law by the US President.

Fence, not a wall. And he wants a down payment for that wall in this bill.

While campaigning for president, Trump promised nearly daily that the Mexican government would eventually pay for the border wall.

Yet another 22.5 km (14 mi.) of wall is to be built in the San Diego sector to replace existing border fencing there. For now, the Senate is working in a bipartisan fashion on a sharply different set of bills that, on average, are frozen at current levels.

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