Remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sarcastically conceded she would allow $1 for border barriers in President Trump’s national security funding plan?
Then she reneged, promising “nothing.”
“We can go through the back and forth,” she dictated. “No. How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall.”
That “nothing” has turned into $1.375 billion in a deal congressional negotiators are asking the president to sign.
While it falls far short of his requested $5.7 billion, Trump is considering it, as it would prevent another another partial government shutdown over wall funding.
He says he’s exploring other ways to pay for the wall.
And to make his point, he already has announced the launch of a construction project on the Rio Grande that includes “six miles worth of concrete and steel barrier,” according to the Washington Examiner.
The $145 million used for the project came from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s budget for fiscal year 2018.
The battle over barrier funding likely will influence the 2020 election, as left-leaning presidential candidates express bitter opposition to wall funding. It also underscores Trump’s effort to fulfill a major 2016 campaign promise.
A budget resolution must be signed by Friday night to stop a partial government shutdown.
“We’ll be looking for landmines, because you could have that,” Trump said. “You know, it’s been known to happen before to people.”
The Daily Mail of London reported Democrats still insist on not using the term “wall,” with some willing to support “fencing” or a “barrier.”
Trump has said his concern is national security rather than terminology.
CNN reported Trump continues to consider executive actions that could include using funds allocated to Homeland Security, the Defense Department or other agencies to supplement congressional funding.
He also has stated he has the authority to declare a national emergency, although Democrats have indicated they would find judges to block such a move.
Another source of funding, while small, demonstrates the grass roots support for building a wall. We Build The Wall has raised more than $20 million and continues to accept contributions to reach its goal of $1 billion.
The organization explains: “Our team has already begun the process of identifying zones along the Southern Border that are known to be high-traffic areas for illegal crossings and smuggling operations. We are presently working with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol experts and other U.S. Border Security Service professionals who are highly experienced in these matters. We are beginning extensive due diligence and the commencement of feasibility studies and will be engaging leading experts in a variety of fields necessary to construct our Border Wall. These professionals will continue to provide us with critical guidance on the legal, engineering, contracting, environmental, accounting, maintenance, and real estate issues required to build a Wall along the Southern Border.”
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said he told the president the initial funding was a “down payment” on the security issue.
Democrats regularly insist barriers are expensive, immoral and they don’t work, denying statistics that show they sharply curtail illegal immigration.
Another source of wall funding could come through a bill by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would use the $14 billion confiscated from convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.