House approves $1.6bn for US-Mexico border wall

The House voted Thursday to back the first installment of money for President Trump's border wall, surmounting Democrats' objections and giving the White House a substantial - though potentially short-lived - victory.

Trump promised at almost every rally and campaign event that Mexico would pay for the wall. Eight other spending bills that have cleared the House Appropriations Committee await action; GOP leaders chose not to bring them to the floor despite pressure from appropriators eager to see Republican spending priorities passed through the House.

Some $1.6 billion in wall money was attached to a security spending bill created to fund the Pentagon and veterans' needs, but Senate Democrats have signaled they'll resist the project, which could leave Mr. Trump and fellow Republicans facing the choice of caving to Democrats and scratching the wall money or careening into a shutdown showdown.

While the wall funding was the most contentious piece of the appropriations bill, it was just a small sliver of the spending package the House approved.

If Senate Republicans try to force wall funding into the budget, Trump might get his wish. The bill largely funds defense and veteran programs, along with Department of Energy and legislative operations. "It secures our borders by providing funding for a wall on our southern border", House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. The President said during the campaign, he said, 'I promised a wall.

Similarly, House Republicans representing districts along the US-Mexico border have expressed opposition to the barrier, which could end up costing well over $21 billion.

Furthermore, Lowey noted that Pentagon funding would run into a technical problem as it breaches a cap on defence spending by $72 billion.

It would also fund veterans health care, a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel and services of the Appalachian Regional Commission. "There is no one more dedicated to our national security or ensuring that the men and women serving in uniform have the resources they need to keep our country safe, but this bill doesn't accomplish that and I can not support it", Mr Crowley said.

The $658 billion defense spending legislation was $27 billion more than Trump's budget request, and would provide the military additional fighter jets, ships, helicopters and troops that the Pentagon had requested.

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