President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border with Mexico, far short of the amount needed for a project sharply criticized by Democrats and even some conservative Republicans.
An internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan in February estimated the total cost for the wall at $21.6 billion but the White House’s budget proposal for 2018, details of which were released on Monday, included a request for just $1.6 billion.
Two Republican aides in Congress said the modest request is an acknowledgement from the White House that full funding is not realistic given opposition from Freedom Caucus conservatives in the House of Representatives as well as Democrats in the House and the Senate.
They said that unless Trump is able to rally broader support and win more funding for construction in another fiscal year, his plans for a “big beautiful wall” that he promised during his election campaign last year may not be realized.
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