President Donald Trump plans to spend about $8 billion on border barriers, far more than Congress has given him for that purpose.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says Trump will tap various other sources of money beyond the nearly $1.4 billion in a government funding bill that Congress passed. Trump is expected to sign the bill.
Besides the money from Congress, Mulvaney said Friday that Trump plans to spend $600 million in Treasury forfeiture funds and $2.5 billion in Defense Department counterdrug money.
Trump is also tapping about $3.6 billion worth of funds set aside for military construction projects.
Mulvaney says Trump is not tapping disaster relief money designated to help Texas and Puerto Rico following recent devastating hurricanes.
Congress has lopsidedly approved a border security compromise that would avert a second painful government shutdown.
But a new confrontation has been ignited. Trump’s plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a national emergency to siphon billions from other federal coffers for a wall on the Mexican boundary is certain to be challenged.
Money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted.
The White House said he’d sign the legislation passed Thursday but act unilaterally to get more. That prompted condemnations from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money or said Trump was abusing his authority.