The Trump administration has confirmed that the president will thwart a government shutdown by postponing funding for the border wall after congressional Democrats vowed to fight that battle to the grisly end, desperate to prevent Trump from enjoying a victory on that front.
On Tuesday, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump will indeed sign a spending bill that does not include a border wall provision, but does include funds for enhanced border protection.
“Yeah, I think the bill, at least the offer that we received from the Democrats in the last couple days included a good bit of money for border security,” Mulvaney said. “The Democrats said they’d go to the mat to shut the government down over the border wall, the bricks and mortar.”
“But there’s a lot of things we agree on, both parties do,” he continued,” on securing the border and it allows the president to follow through on his promise to make that border more secuer, stop people coming over, stop drugs coming over.”
Mulvaney explained that the Trump administration can make inroads on closing gaps in the border by deploying other forms of “maintenance and technology” that do not necessarily include a wall, such as “gates, bridges, roads, that kind of stuff.”
As for whether Trump’s campaign promise to build a physical wall is dead in the water, Mulvaney was unequivocal.
“We’re not backing down,” he stated, noting that the upcoming budget bill only applies through the end of September, meaning that the Trump administration could revisit the border wall as early as fall of this year.
“We just thought it would be a good first step to get these things that everybody agrees on and take the idea of a government shutdown off the table,” Mulvaney concluded.