President Trump will just have to build his wall on the installment plan.Congress reached a tentative budget deal that will allocate just $1.375 billion for 58 miles of barriers between the US and Mexico.
The president wanted $5.7 billion for 200 miles of wall.But Trump really doesn’t need the entire $5.7 billion this year. In fact, I doubt he’d be able to spend the whole $1.3 billion in this fiscal year, which ends in September.
Congress’ deal may, or may not, avert another troublesome government shutdown. That will depend on whether Trump signs the budget which, I think, he should.Trump could also declare an emergency and find the money elsewhere. But that might create problems within his own party.
So, why bother picking fights?There will undoubtedly be another budget battle next year. And that’s when Trump could demand a second installment for his wall.And by fiscal 2020, which starts Oct. 1 of this year, Trump might be in a better position to negotiate. In fact, I think he will be.