A top Republican budget senator is doubtful that funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall will be included in the budget package this year.
Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt announced that the Senate Committee on Appropriations will probably not consider Trump’s supplemental budget request, which includes funding to build the wall along the Mexican border, until the next fiscal year.
“All of the committees, the leaderships of the House and Senate, are working together to try to finalize the rest of the [fiscal year] ’17 bill,” Blunt told reporters Tuesday, The Hill reports.
“My guess is that comes together better without the supplemental,” Blunt said.
Trump’s supplemental budget request asks for $1 billion to begin construction on the border wall this year, as well as $30 billion for the Department of Defense.
Blunt said the Senate is working on the defense spending bill which would increase funding over the current Continuing Resolution. The government is funded through April 28, at which time Congress will need to pass, and Trump needs to sign, either another continuing resolution or budget appropriations for the military and domestic departments.
“We have the FY17 defense bill,” Blunt said, indicating that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s priorities will be met.
Democratic lawmakers have already said they would rather shut down the government than fund the border wall.
“They will not pass together,” Blunt told the Associate Press when asked about the possibilities of funding the wall Tuesday.
“That’s just my view.”
The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Customs and Border Protection, has already started planning for the wall construction. The department has asked potential vendors to start considering bidding on the project. More than 650 companies have indicated that they are interested in helping design or build the border wall.