Mulvaney Said DHS ‘Can’t Actually Spend Money From Mexico,’ Implies Congress Needs To Go Ahead And Do Its Job

Office of Management and Budget Director and incoming Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney dispelled the belief that Mexico would be forking over a pallet of cash or other means to pay for the new U.S.-Mexico border wall.

During an interview with ABC News’ Johnathan Karl, Mulvaney clarified the money must be allocated from the Treasury Department to Homeland Security. This process is the same for the allocation of all federal funds, Mulvaney said. All money must go through the Treasury Department, the OMB director said.

From ABC News:

The president’s incoming chief of staff said Sunday that any money for the border wall would have to come from the Treasury Department, saying “the Department of Homeland Security can’t actually spend money from Mexico.”

“Technically, you and I both know that it cannot work exactly like that,” Mick Mulvaney told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl when pressed about President Trump’s campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the wall. “The department of Homeland Security can’t actually spend money from Mexico. We have to get it from the treasury.”

And, from the Washington Examiner:

Trump has long promised that Mexico would pay for the border wall, which has become a flash point for the president and his administration in recent weeks.

Mulvaney told ABC’s Jon Karl that the Trump administration is in a “good place” on getting the wall built and having Mexico “participate” in border security.

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“But none of that is Mexico paying for the wall?” Karl said.

Mulvaney said that won’t actually be possible, saying: “I can’t spend any money at the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Homeland Security can’t actually spend money from Mexico. We have to get it from Treasury.”

Congress has been deadlocked with President Trump over how to fund the federal government, which ultimately forced a government shutdown.

Trump wants $5 billion for a border wall, but Senate Democrats stand in the way of clearing a 60-vote procedural hurdle which would allow the Republican majority within the chamber to vote on the bill.

Mulvaney said the White House is expected to hear back from Senate Democrats concerning a new funding proposal.

“The White House has reportedly floated roughly $2.1 billion instead for border security, but that the number will likely be bumped down to $1.6 billion,” the Washington Examiner reports.

The OMB director seemed skeptical about an agreement and said the current shutdown could extend into next month and after the next session of Congress is sworn-in.

“It’s very possible this shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said.

If Schumer’s comments from the Senate floor on Saturday are any indication, then alleviation from the shutdown is still some ways off.

Speaking of the $5 billion request for a border wall, Schumer said: “It will never pass the Senate, not today, not next week, not next year. So President Trump, if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall, plain and simple.”

 

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