Despite knowing that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was firmly based in
getting free stuff, er, the construction of a “big, beautiful wall” courtesy of the Mexican government, we already know that Mexico has no plans to pay for it.
There has been some noise from Trump’s camp about employing an existing law and budgetary maneuvers to put the bill on US taxpayers, but now sources tell CNN that Trump’s transition team has put the word to House GOP leaders to front the cost, to be ‘paid back by Mexico later!’
It appears that some members of Congress are simply fine with picking our pockets to pay for his wall. On Friday, New York Rep. Chris Collins expressed his confidence in Trump’s ability to negotiate a payback plan with Mexico:
“When you understand that Mexico’s economy is dependent upon US consumers, Donald Trump has all the cards he needs to play,” Collins, congressional liaison for the Trump transition team, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “On the trade negotiation side, I don’t think it’s that difficult for Donald Trump to convince Mexico that it’s in their best interest to reimburse us for building the wall.”
Indiana Republican Rep. Luke Messer said on Thursday that congress could employ a Bush-era law to fund the wall:
“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.”
Trump originally projected the cost of his wall to be near $8 billion dollars, however, experts suggest the cost could easily reach $25 billion. The party that vows to cut food stamps and Medicaid seems to have little concern about using billions from US taxpayers to build a wall for which the success is dubious.
However, even for Republicans, using the funding bill is nefarious. To stop this mess, Democrats may have to take a card from the Republican deck and shut down the government.
“Democrats may well find themselves in the position to shut down all of government to stop the buildout of a wall, or of a barrier, or of a fence,” Messer said.
The American people are well aware of what a government shutdown means. The shutdown of 2013 lasted 16 days and it cost the economy up to 24 billion dollars and slowed job growth by 120,000. That will require Democrats to weigh some very heavy options. The GOP understands this.
GOP leaders need 60 votes to the appropriate the funding. This means they will need democratic support. They believe they can get those votes, based on support of the 2006 bill by then Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Hillary Clinton. The bill was never funded during Obama’s tenure, yet they intend to try to use it to ‘Trojan Horse’ another broken Trump promise.
Of course, in Trump-style governance, he turned to twitter to assure us all that Mexico will reimburse us later. Sounds like his version of “I’d gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Or, perhaps he means Mexico will pay like he does(n’t)?
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, however, already stated that the Mexican people “are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it’s going to be completely useless.” Trump threatened that if Mexico does not pay, he’ll make moves to block immigrants from sending money back to Mexico. The idea was to use that block to extort Mexico’s government into a one time 5-10 billion dollar payment (wait, that covers the up to 24 billion dollar price tag?). He can’t, since it probably won’t survive legal challenge. So, then we are back to increasing all of the fees associated with crossing the border, punishing Mexico’s citizens, not their government.
Now he says… well, it doesn’t matter what he says because you can not trust a liar.
The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 3 Republican in the House leadership:
“We want President Trump to have all the tools he needs to build the wall. We’re in talks with him on the details of it as they’re still putting together their team. We still got a few months before there’s another funding bill that’s going to move. We’re going to work with him to make sure we can get it done. We want to build a wall. He wants to build a wall.”
Those “fiscally responsible” conservatives seem to have no problem helping him finish this lie. They want the wall, and they know that the only way Democrats can stop them will hurt, badly.
This is the consequence of electing a con man whose favorite schtick is exploiting the weaknesses of others and taking advantage of loopholes.