Elder Patriot- One of the central themes of Donald Trump’s campaign was to vastly improve border security by building a wall along our southern border.
No matter how much his political opponents and their multinational corporately owned propaganda arm, aka the mainstream media, have worked to paint Trump and his supporters as bigoted xenophobes, the truth is illegal border crossers present immense and imminent national security concerns.
From human trafficking, to feeding our country’s growing opioid crisis, to bankrupting our social safety net programs, to providing a clear path for terrorists to enter the U.S., to creating immense downward pressure on wages for taxpaying Americans, it is arguable that there is no greater threat to our national security than open and unsecured borders.
Trump knows this and, despite their rhetoric to the contrary, everyone in Congress knows this. But the monied interests – the Business Roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce, large cap multinational corporations and their banks, among dozens of other influence buying interests – want access to cheap labor (the better to drive up both profits and stock prices) and the American people can be damned when they get in the way.
There’s big money waiting for congressmen and senators who oppose the president. But, openly opposing the wall is a losing proposition for many elected officials who represent more moderate districts. So they hondle among themselves how to accomplish the goals of their billionaire patrons while having enough cover to explain their votes to their constituents.
That is why there hasn’t been, nor will there ever be, an up or down vote on funding the border wall.
So the corporately controlled uniparty passes massive omnibus spending bills but somehow, in the name of debt control, they can’t find the $25 Billion to protect the border.
We reported earlier this week that Trump has been led to believe, following negotiations with Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that a deal has been worked out when the next funding resolution is voted on prior to the election.
This will be great if it’s true and not a trap but Trump has learned the ways of Washington well in his time in office and will not be played for a fool. If departmental spending is not provided for in the spending resolution he has two options.
He can refuse to sign it and that could lead to a government shutdown. Or, according to which party polling tells him is taking the blame for a shutdown, he can sign it and essentially bypass congress – a precedent set many times to count by Obama – and take the cost of the wall from another budgetary allocation.
Trump let politicians contemplating obstructing the funding of the wall a second time, that he was prepared to act on the latter.
Trump has the money in the defense budget to fund the wall in its entirety if he chooses to do that. And, that is exactly what he suggested he’s prepared to do while giving an interview to the Daily Mail.
President Trump said, that from a political standpoint, he prefers that Congress approve the approximately $25 billion in spending and have Department of Homeland Security build the protective barrier.
The second option available to Trump will ruffle feathers with Republicans, who he will need help from with later legislative initiatives, but this president is all about fulfilling promises and there was no greater promise from Trump than “Building the Wall.”
From David Martosko writing in the Daily Mail:
“The possibility of diverting Pentagon funding and assets to build a border wall is a hole card the president is holding but has never directly acknowledged before. Two Defense Department officials told DailyMail.com in August that the Army Corps of Engineers could take on the task.”
The Army Corps of Engineers is more than up to such a task. As one source said:
“They build levees that hold back massive walls of water. They can build one to hold back drugs and human traffickers.”
Congress could conceivably move to block Trump’s move but it would be tantamount to committing political suicide for many Republicans who do not want their opposition to Trump, or the border wall, to become public. Something an up or down vote would guarantee.
With Americans citing illegal immigration as the most important issue going into the midterms, it looks like Trump’s 4-D chess skills has once again checkmated Washington’s career politicians.