- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said Tuesday that he was “shocked” to hear Democrats celebrating over keeping border wall funding out of the spending deal.

He said Democratic lawmakers should be cheering the $1.5 billion funding increase for border security in the package, which is the largest boost for Homeland Security in a decade.

Democrats have claimed victory, including for blocking funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico, in the deal to avert a shutdown and fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

“They are rejoicing that that wall will be slower to be built,” Mr. Kelly said.

For Democrats, the wall has become a symbol of Mr. Trump’s get-tough policies on illegal immigration that they abhor.

Still, Mr. Kelly said the added funding for border security would advance the wall project and take other steps to improve security.

“It keeps us moving in the right direction to a more secure United States,” he said.

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