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Trump budget chief defends spending compromise with Democrats


President Trump’s budget chief on Monday praised the bipartisan spending compromise lawmakers have hammered out to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

“I think it’s great that the Democrats like this bill,” Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said at an off-camera briefing with reporters.

Mulvaney failed to secure two of his priorities in the funding bill set for a vote this week: sharp cuts to domestic spending and a denial of funds for “sanctuary cities.” But he highlighted areas where the administration is pleased with the legislation.

“We got more money for defense. We got more money for border security. We got more money for school choice,” he said. “Everything that we got in this deal last night lines up with the president’s priorities.”

{mosads}Mulvaney warned Republicans skeptical of the funding bill to consider the alternatives.

“Can you imagine how different this bill is from the bill that President Obama would have signed?”

Trump’s budget chief also defended against claims that the White House has given up on funding for Trump’s signature border wall. The White House initially pushed for funding to be included in the spending bill, but Mulvaney says Trump has agreed “not to continue pushing for bricks and mortar for the wall.”

“This is only a five-months plan,” Mulvaney said. “It’s not actually possible to get bricks and mortar on the ground in five months, so why fight about it now?”

The spending bill will instead only provide funding for “things that will have a materiel impact on border security this year.”

He says funding for the wall will be in a future government funding bill.

“The border wall is not come campaign concept. It’s real,” Mulvaney said. “This is not just demagoguery. We’re serious about securing the border.”


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