White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Thursday he's been tasked with gathering money to begin to build the wall at the U.S.-Mexican border, and that's included in President Donald Trump's first proposed budget.
"I'm responsible for getting the money together to build the wall and that's what I'm doing," Mulvaney told ABC's "Good Morning America," the day after he unveiled Trump's budget blueprint.
"The president wrote a budget for the nation and we wrote a budget based upon his campaign promises and that's what you see in the budget," Mulvaney said. "We took his words and turned them into numbers. The president promised a wall, he's going to deliver it."
Through the new budget, the border wall will get an initial $1.5 billion down payment, with more money likely coming in the 2018 budget, said Mulvaney. On Wednesday, he had said the money will allow some "pilot cases" to determine which wall structure would be most cost-effective, ABC News reports.
"He's only asking for $1.6 [billion], $1.5 billion for the rest of the year to start the wall, not that much in a trillion-dollar discretionary budget," Mulvaney said.
Trump had also promised to balance the budget while bringing down the national debt, but his first budget doesn't reduce the deficit "by a dime," show anchor George Stephanopoulos pointed out, and Mulvaney agreed that was "actually correct."
"This is a budget blueprint," he said. "It's really the spending part of the budget. The federal budget has a bunch of different pieces, as you know. Tax revenues in there and longer term policies and manslaughter spending, all of that will be encapsulated in a budget released in May.
This is the first piece. It allows the spending process to start in Congress."
The president's budget also does not add to the deficit, although it adds to defense, border enforcement, law enforcement, and more said Mulvaney. However, the budget does call for drastic cuts in several departments, including slashing the State Department's budget by 28 percent.
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