As we limp towards our nation’s collective waking nightmare, Donald Trump is doing his best to make good on his heinous campaign promise to build a physical wall along the border between Mexico and the United States. The unexpected twist? Mexico won’t be the ones to pay for it.
CNN reports that House Republicans and the Trump transition team are dead set on getting this wall up and running, but instead of making Mexico pay like Trump yelled about for the duration of his entire campaign, the funds to pay for the wall could possibly come through the appropriations progress instead. According to Politico, Republicans are considering packaging the funding for the wall into a spending bill that must be dealt with by the end of April in order to prevent a government shutdown.
Packaging the bill with the necessary spending bill is a particularly spineless move. Politico reports that Republican lawmakers are convinced that by daring Democrats to vote against the bill, they’d be inciting a “public relations war” that would effectively force the bill to pass.
The Trump leadership claims that there’s precedent for the wall to be built via a 2006 law passed by former President Bush that “authorized the construction of 700 miles-plus of ‘physical barrier’ on the southern border.”
The 2006 Secure Fence Act, included as part of a broader immigration reform package, originally called for 850 miles of double fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile-long southern border. Lawmakers amended the law in 2008 to reduce that number to a minimum of 700 miles, a change that also gave the secretary of homeland security discretion over what kind of “physical barrier” to construct.
“It was not done in the Obama administration, so by funding the authorization that’s already happened a decade ago, we could start the process of meeting Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to secure the border,” Indiana Republican Rep. Luke Messer said. Trickier still is the fact that a lot of Democrats voted in favor of this legislation; Republicans will surely use that as fodder to push this bill forward and make the wall a reality.
Regardless of the astronomical expense and logistical nightmare that a real life wall would present, Republicans feel that giving Trump the power to do so is imperative. What Messer and other lawmakers fail to note is that this plan, which is not finalized, is not what Trump promised and uses taxpayer money to further his xenophobic agenda. Making America great again is extremely expensive, but I’m pretty sure the people that voted for Trump had absolutely no intention of paying for it themselves.