Creating a "border wall trust fund"
The president's next federal budget proposal may have a suprise tucked inside: making funding for construction of the border wall mandatory. This would take decisions over how much money wall construction gets year-to-year out of the hands of congressional appropriators, and puts the money on a guranteed path. Bloomberg News notes:
The idea is to switch border wall money from discretionary spending — subject to the annual appropriations votes — to mandatory spending, according to the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.
That would put the expansion of southern border barriers on the same footing as programs such as Social Security, Medicare, military retirement and federal employee pensions — lawmakers wouldn’t be able to add extra or spend less.
“They want to create an entitlement to be able to spend money on the wall every year,” said William Hoagland, senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center.
The president is scheduled to propose his fiscal 2020 budget request in February. It’s certain to face an uphill battle, even more so if Democrats, who oppose such wall funding, win control of the House in next week’s elections.
Among those working to build support for the change are Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and 15 other House Republicans who introduced a bill (H.R. 7073) that would create a $25 billion Border Wall and Security Trust Fund.
Putting even more federal spending on automoatic pilot isn't the best way to ensure fiscal discipline. However, it is an intriguing manuever that could help the president in the run-up to the 2020 election.
You can read more about the legislation to establish a border wall trust fund here.