by James Buchanan
The Democrats not too surprisingly have dug in their heels and refused to vote for a short-term budget bill that had a billion dollars in it for Trump’s border wall. The Democrats are the minority party in the House and Senate because most Americans don’t like them and want a border wall built. Unfortunately, they can still filibuster and shut down the government while the liberal media blames the Republicans. Rather than go through that circus, Trump has opted to take the billion dollars specifically designated for the wall out, but is there another way that Trump can fund the wall?
There are several possibilities open for Trump aside from money explicitly designated for the border wall. There may be a slush fund somewhere in the federal budget where money for the wall can be found. Trump also has the U.S. Army Engineer Corps under his command, which could be tasked with building “defensive fortifications” on the border with Mexico, which might just include a wall.
Another option to fund the wall has been suggested by Ted Cruz. A Breitbart article reports “Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill calling for the use of $14 billion seized from cartel drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to be used to pay for the President’s border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.”
Perhaps Trump knew the Democrats would resort to threatening to shut down the government, and gave them a sacrificial crumb that they could cackle and gloat over while the real funding for the wall has been hidden elsewhere in the budget or involves seized assets from El Chapo.
If you listen to Trump, he’s as committed as ever to the wall. The NY Times reports “President Trump insisted on Tuesday that he remained committed to his hotly disputed plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, despite backing off a demand that the project be funded in a short-term spending measure that must be passed by Friday to avoid a government shutdown…”
“’Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL,’ he wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning. ‘It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.’”
“Mr. Trump told a group of conservative journalists at the White House on Monday evening that he might accept a spending bill that included money for border security without setting aside as much as he had sought for the wall.”
“The current spending legislation would keep the government operating through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. But the president could refocus his battle for wall construction in spending bills for the next fiscal year.”
The wall will get built one way or the other. The Democrats were always able to find money money for their pet projects such as transgender bathrooms, resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. and accommodating 300,000 Central American children, who swarmed in after Obama invited them. The Republicans never voted money for any of that, but it was still done. If Trump’s other options don’t pan out, he can always do what Democrats do and take the money from other government projects and spend it on his pet project regardless of the what the opposition wants.