The Latest: House panel debuts bill to fund border wall

WASHINGTON — The Latest on budget matters in Congress (all times EDT):

4:45 p.m.

A House committee has unveiled legislation to fund President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The $1.6 billion appropriations for a down payment on building a physical wall and other blockades matches Trump’s request, but comes after the GOP-controlled Congress failed to deliver the money when passing an omnibus spending measure earlier this year. Democrats objected to the funding and the Trump administration and congressional Republicans took a pass on forcing the issue.

But the fight over funding the wall is a major obstacle to funding government agency operations for the budget year beginning Oct. 1. Some conservatives are threatening to shut the government down if the wall is not included.

The wall money is embedded in a $44 billion homeland security funding bill released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee.

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11 a.m.

A huge railroad and transit project to build new bridge and tunnel capacity for travel between New York and New Jersey would receive a whopping $900 million next year if a senior New Jersey Republican has his way.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is moving to boost the New York and New Jersey Gateway project in large part by eliminating a popular $500 million infrastructure grant program championed by former President Barack Obama. That program funded transportation projects nationwide, including set-asides for rural areas.

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Frelinghuysen, a New Jersey Republican, also would earmark $400 million in mass transit grants toward a new tunnel under the Hudson River to service Amtrak and a New Jersey commuter rail line.

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