March 28, 2018

Ironic end-around on the border wall

Walls are meant to keep people from getting in  or out of something or somewhere.  So it's more than a little ironic that president Trump is considering going around the end of the legislative wall to get funding for building the wall on the Mexican border.
Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall. He has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional leaders that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling project, citing a "national security" risk.

After floating the notion to several advisers last week, Trump told House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the idea, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.

Trump's pursuit of defense dollars to finance the U.S.-Mexico border wall underscores his determination to fulfill a campaign promise and build the barrier despite resistance in the Republican-led Congress. The administration's last-minute negotiations with lawmakers to secure billions more for the wall failed, and Trump grudgingly signed the spending bill Friday after a short-lived veto threat.
If it's a national security issue, and it kinda is, then military funding is most certainly an option. There's no Constitutional issue, even though Democrats will decry the unconstitutionality of it, and the article I quoted tries to make the case that it would require Congressional votes to make changes to the military budget (it makes no case that that's true, they just state it as fact).

As an aside, president Trump is saying he regrets signing the the Omnibus bill.  That could be a talking point or a lesson learned.  
Four days later, Trump continued to express regret over signing the $1.3 trillion package, which funded the government and averted a shutdown, saying it was a mistake and he should have followed his instincts.
We'll know in a few months when the next continuing resolution comes up, if the president is going to take a firmer stand.
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