Trump’s request, outlined in conversations with White House officials and in a memo from budget director Mick Mulvaney, calls for $33 billion in new defense and border spending — and $18 billion in cuts to other priorities, such as medical research and jobs programs.
But it appeared that few on the Hill shared the White House’s appetite to flirt with a government shutdown over the border wall, which Democrats have pledged to oppose and which even some conservative Republicans object to on fiscal grounds.
Several senior Republicans said Tuesday that Trump’s wall request is not likely to be included in the stopgap budget plan, which would merely authorize current spending levels to continue past April 28 — but instead will be considered during separate negotiations later this year to add new spending to the current budget.
“Congress will decide what they want and what they don’t want,” said Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), one of a half-dozen Republicans engaged in spending negotiations to reject the request. “I don’t think we need a shutdown argument, period. I don’t know any rational person who wants a shutdown.”