Border wall | WOSU Radio

Border wall

The Trump administration has started the arduous process of canceling $3.6 billion in military construction projects to fund its plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper began notifying lawmakers Tuesday which projects will be canceled in their districts. Top Democrats immediately blasted the plan.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was among the first lawmakers to say his district will be impacted by the funding cuts, for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET Saturday

A federal judge in California has blocked President Trump from using $2.5 billion in military funding to build a southern border wall.

The Trump administration sought to tap Department of Defense money to support the construction of portions of the president's long-promised border wall stretching across large swaths of the Mexican border with New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Initial sections of fencing for a privately funded border wall were installed last weekend in Sunland Park, N.M., as the result of a crowdfunding effort that went live in December.

On Thursday, the leaders of the project showed off the nearly completed section of wall, running across rough terrain next to where the official border barrier ends. Project leaders said they have mapped out at least 10 other spots along the border where they could build more wall.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a $19.1 billion disaster aid package Thursday that includes money for states impacted by flooding, recent hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as money for communities rebuilding after wildfires.

The measure passed overwhelmingly — 85-8.

President Trump is trying to ratchet up public pressure on congressional Democrats to bend to his administration's will on immigration, but the House majority is dismissing new White House proposals to discourage the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"On Board(hers)" is a dance performance at the Columbus College of Art and Design about the impact of immigration on women.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

In a completely white room within the Columbus College Of Art And Design's Beeler Gallery, a group of women tear down a large white wall – sort of. Working together, on their instructor Lucille Toth's count, they push it over with a boom.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives failed to override President Trump's veto on a congressional resolution blocking his national emergency declaration. That executive proclamation paved the way for the administration to spend billions of dollars to construct a barrier along the Southwest border between the U.S. and Mexico after Congress refused to approve the full amount the White House demanded last year.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

President Trump used his veto pen for the first time Friday, after Congress tried to reverse his national emergency declaration and rein in spending on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congressional critics do not appear to have the votes to override Trump's veto. So, as a practical matter, the administration can continue to spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than lawmakers authorized, unless and until the courts intervene.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to terminate President Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. Both of Ohio's senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, cast their votes in support of the measure.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

President Trump's budget proposal for 2020 calls for $8.6 billion in new border wall funding, a signal that the White House is not backing away from a demand that triggered a 35-day government shutdown.

The border wall is just one flashpoint in the president's $4.7 trillion budget blueprint. Trump is also calling for a 5 percent boost in military spending along with deep cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid.

Vice President Mike Pence speaking at a meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association in Columbus on March 8, 2019.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Ohio Oil And Gas annual meeting Friday to talk about the administration’s effort to expand energy production, and defend the administration’s national emergency declaration.

Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has yet to decide whether he will vote in favor of a bill rejecting President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund the border wall. 

Rob Portman, Ohio's junior senator – who doesn’t have to worry about running for re-election until 2022 – is really hard to figure out sometimes.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky says he'll vote in favor of a resolution to terminate President Trump's national emergency declaration with regards to the U.S.-Mexico border. Paul's support means the resolution will likely pass the Senate with bipartisan support and could force the president to issue his first veto.

Paul's announcement, coming from an-otherwise close ally of the president, lays bare the discomfort many Republicans have had with the emergency declaration.

WPAFB

Ohio’s congressional delegation is concerned that money designated for military projects here could be diverted to the border wall if President Trump’s national emergency declaration stands.

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