Trump asks for billions in social spending cuts to pay for wall

US President Donald Trump is seeking to eliminate more than US$18 billion worth of health and education social programs to fund his anti-immigrant wall along the border with Mexico, documents submitted to the US Congress on March 28 showed.

The documents were submitted by the White House to Republican lawmakers as part of intensive talks over a bill to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government in late April.

The administration plan would eliminate the National Institutes of Health research grants, which are worth $1.2 billion. Trump also wants to cut half of the funding of the community development block grant program, about $1.5 billion.

The Associated Press reported that Trump is asking for “immediate funds to complete an existing barrier in the Rio Grande Valley, US$500 million to complete 28 miles of border levee wall near McAllen, Texas, and US$350 million for construction along two segments near San Diego.”

It is unlikely that the spending bill would pass through Congress as Republicans would seek to avoid another showdown with the Democrats after the recent significant defeat of their healthcare bill to replace Obamacare.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]