The contracts are the latest step in President Trump’s bid to build a wall along the border with Mexico, a central campaign issue for him.
As lawmakers return to town, the president faces weeks of hard bargaining on the debt ceiling, his border wall, the tax code, Harvey relief and more.
The Department of Homeland Security awarded contracts to four companies for concrete wall prototypes to be built in the San Diego area.
The president defended the timing of his pardon of the former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of his hard-line tactics against illegal immigration.
President Trump is threatening a government shutdown over funds for a border wall, attacking key Republicans ahead of a critical legislative stretch.
The exchanges turned so sharp that Mr. Trump said talking to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was more pleasant.