White House

Trump asks Congress to shift project funds to states he needs to win in 2020

Great Lakes, Everglades restoration initiatives make list as request heads to Hill

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On Monday, Trump asked Congress to shift project funds to swing states he needs to win for a 2020 victory. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Trump’s Monday tweets about plussing up accounts for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an Everglades project and a NASA moon mission were codified in an amendment to his fiscal 2020 budget request sent to Congress the same day.

Also requested is nearly $20 million more for the Special Olympics.

“Tonight, the administration sent Congress a budget amendment to account for spending request adjustments, which is part of the normal budget process,” an administration official said Tuesday morning, referring to Monday evening.

“My Administration will be fighting for $200 million for the Army Corps Everglades restoration work this year,” the president tweeted. “Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars.”

“We must protect our Great Lakes, keeping them clean and beautiful for future generations. That’s why I am fighting for $300 million in my updated budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” Trump wrote in a post on his preferred social media account.

As for the Special Olympics, the president tweeted he is asking Congress for “$18 million more “for our GREAT @SpecialOlympics, whose athletes inspire us and make our Nation so PROUD!”

As always with the 45th president, most of the projects for which he is requesting additional funds have a political aspect.

The Great Lakes project touches key Rust Belt states he will need in 2020 to win a second term, like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Florida, home to the Everglades, also will again be a key swing state.

At a rally Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 28, Trump told an arena full of supporters that he supports “full funding” for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. He promised the Grand Rapids crowd $300 million for the project as he tries to again win the state in 2020.

NASA has a big presence in Florida and Texas. Trump already has visited the Lone Star State several times amid GOP worries that urban Democratic strongholds might like Austin might tilt Texas toward a Democratic nominee like former Rep. Beto O’Rourke or even the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has appeal to blue-collar voters.

The budget amendment request is a break from how the White House last year handled its change last year on Trump's proposed southern border wall. That formal request last year initially was $1.6 billion before Trump swelled it to $5 billion then to $5.7 billion.

The White House never sent Congress a formal budget amendment request then.

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