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US Budget Chief Wants Border Wall Funds Stipulated

US Budget Chief Wants Border Wall Funds StipulatedUS Budget Chief Wants Border Wall Funds Stipulated

Money for the wall US President Donald Trump wants to build along the US border with Mexico must be part of the massive spending bill Congress is preparing, the White House budget director said.

"Additional funding also must be included to hire more immigration agents," Mick Mulvaney also told AP in an interview in which he laid out the president's top priorities.

Lawmakers hope to unveil the catchall spending bill next week. Democratic negotiators are likely to resist providing the down payment that Mulvaney says Trump wants for construction of the wall, but the former GOP congressman from South Carolina adds that "elections have consequences."

Mulvaney also said the administration is open, though undecided, about a key Democratic demand that the measure pay for cost-sharing payments to insurance companies that help low-income people afford health policies under the Affordable Care Act.

The $1 trillion-plus legislation is leftover business from last year's election-season gridlock and would cover the operating budgets of every Cabinet department except for Veterans Affairs.

Talks on the measure have hit a rough patch as a deadline to avert a government shutdown looms late next week.

Trump's presidency is approaching the symbolic 100-day mark, but his GOP allies in Congress have been tempering expectations that the president would emerge as a big winner.

 

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