Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said “it could be a while” before lawmakers receive a final list of what programs are going to lose funding in order to finance President Trump’s long-promised border wall, suggesting the White House has yet to nail down which programs will be cut.
“I know of the universe of things that might be delayed or reduced or cut in a very extreme circumstance that could be used to fund the wall, but a list of a decision that’s already been made saying, ‘This money is going to be cut and spent over there,’ that’s not been made yet,” Mulvaney told “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine also appeared on Sunday’s show, and accused the White House of “wanting to hold the list back because they worry that if senators and House members saw the potential projects that were going to be ransacked to pay for the president’s wall, they would lose votes.”
Kaine said the secretary of defense failed to provide a list of programs to be cut before the Senate voted on a resolution rebuking Mr. Trump’s declaration, which the president vetoed.
“I think they’re going to try to hide the list until that veto override vote occurs in the House and then in the Senate,” Kaine said.
The president issued an emergency declaration as a way to free up funding to build a wall along the southern border after Congress refused to provide the $5 billion he originally requested. New budget requests now put that total dollar amount at over $8 billion with $5 billion in funding for Department of Homeland Security efforts designed to build sections of the wall, as well as $3.6 billion funds for Department of Defense construction projects along the border.
Mulvaney said programs scheduled to start in 2019 would not be impacted by the president’s declaration, but said he knows of “no list” of finalized cuts.
“There’s no list of projects that are absolutely going to not be funded so that the wall can be. What it is, is a list of programs that fit the criteria that I’ve just laid out for you, which is that they are meant to be funded beyond the end of this fiscal year. Why is that important? Because if it’s going to be a project that would have been funded say, in 2021, OK, it gives us another couple of years to call backfill,” Mulvaney said. “Congress will pass another appropriation this year, next year, so that ultimately none of the programs would be impacted.”
Mulvaney said the White House fully expects the president’s veto —the first of his presidency — to be upheld if Congress votes to override it.
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