Did Congress Start Funding Trump's Wall? Depends Who You Ask

Democrats say they blocked funding for Trump's border wall. The White House says the $1.5 billion in new border security funds is just as good.
Posted at 8:26 PM, May 02, 2017

President Trump got a chance to start on his long-promised wall project on the Mexican border this week — at least in Congress' recent budget negotiations.

Did Trump get his funding? Depends on who you ask.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "The bill ensures taxpayer dollars are not used to fund an ineffective border wall."

But Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney pushed back, saying: "The president delivered on his promises and got his priorities funded. That's what the Democrats don't want you to know."

Republicans managed to secure an additional $1.5 billion for border security, but none of that money can be used on new construction projects. Instead, $722 million of that money can be used to repair or continue existing projects.

For Trump, that additional money is the first step of his campaign promise.

Trump said during a Rose Garden speech, "Make no mistake, we are beginning to build the wall."

But Democrats are adamant that without funds for new construction, Trump can't say he's started building his wall.

And the squabble is really just a precursor to a larger dispute: The White House has already hinted it plans to push for more border funding during the next spending showdown in September.