The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President Donald Trump's border wall. Notably, it said about $224 million would be taken from the Blended Retirement System, which combines elements of the military's retirement system with a system offering benefits similar to civilian 401(k) programs. Other programs set to significantly lose funding: $604 million that was supposed to support Afghan security forces; $251 million in Pentagon funds for destroying US chemical weapons; and about $343 million "in spending from Air Force weapons programs where officials have negotiated reductions or canceled systems,".
President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border wall that Congress refused to give him, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a fundamental confrontation over separation of powers.
President Trump agreed Friday to reopen the federal government for three weeks while negotiations proceeded over how to secure the nation’s southwestern border, backing down after a month-long standoff failed to force Democrats to give him billions of dollars for his long-promised wall.
Senators rejected two competing bills to end the government shutdown on Thursday. There were signs of bipartisanship: Six Republicans supported the Democratic bill for two weeks of funding. One Democrat voted for President Trump’s proposal for a border wall.
President Trump has frequently called the situation at the southern border with Mexico a crisis and insists that building his long-promised border wall will fix it. Here are some of Mr. Trump’s most common assertions of a crisis, and the reality of what we know about immigrants and the border.
President Trump slammed his hand on a table and stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said she would not fund a wall along the southern border, dramatically escalating the confrontation over the government shutdown.
Mexico doesn’t want to be bossed around. After alarming the world with news about potentially ending NAFTA, Trump seemed to backtrack, saying in a Wednesday statement that he had “pleasant and productive” calls with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. “It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation,” he said. “It is an honor to deal with both President Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”
The move by Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, brings to a head the simmering tensions that have been building for months between the two leaders. After calling for dialogue in the face of Mr. Trump’s vows to build a wall, Mr. Peña Nieto ultimately bowed to public pressure in Mexico to respond more forcefully to his northern neighbor.