You cannot be blamed if President Donald Trump’s key campaign promise to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has slipped your mind. With porn stars, smear campaigns, and neo-McCarthyism (yes, the press is still obsessing over Russia) dominating the news cycle, it can be easy to forget about the border wall. But one Republican leader plans to introduce a bill to fund the president’s proposal.
In a statement to Breitbart News, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed that he will soon submit legislation called “Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act.” The act will include $23 billion to fully fund the border wall and establish the proper security measures.
Earlier this year, President Trump requested $25 billion for the wall, but Congress only appropriated $1.6 billion for border security. This is not enough to protect a nation, McCarthy stated.
“For decades, America’s inability to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration has encouraged millions to undertake a dangerous journey to come here in violation of our laws and created a huge loophole to the legal channels to the immigration process where America welcomes immigrants to our country.
President Trump’s election was a wakeup call to Washington. The American people want us to build the wall and enforce the law. Maintaining strong borders is one of the basic responsibilities of any nation. For too long, America has failed in this responsibility.”
No word if the Mexican government will be contributing any pesos to McCarthy’s legislative push.
So, can the GOP score a quick but crucial victory ahead of the midterm elections next month? With several other aspects of the bill already passed by the House, there is a chance that it could get approved – of course, not without a fight from the Democrats. But, if the House bill is approved and sent to the Senate, it is unlikely to gain the 60 votes needed.
Should the legislation fail, and both parties cannot reach a concrete resolution, then Trump might take executive action on immigration in the coming weeks, notes The Hill. He has already threatened to shut down the federal government if he does not get what he wants.
Get Ready to Rumble
The consensus on Capitol Hill is that any funding for the proposed wall will not happen before the next election. Not only has the fiscal year come to an end – as of September 30 – several massive spending bills have already passed through Congress, making an additional large expenditure unlikely to get the votes.
Meanwhile, GOP leaders are making comments to suggest that nothing will take place until after November 6.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promised a “big fight” over border wall funding once the November contests have been completed. Speaking at the National Press Club, Ryan conceded that a funding battle would not make sense prior to the midterms.
“What the president wants to do is get a bigger down payment so it can be built faster,” Ryan said in a speech at the National Press Club. “We intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border and we will have a big fight about that.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated his party’s support for the president’s plan, but noted that Trump will get an amount he needs for the border after the election.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) revealed that remaining policy decisions will likely wait until after December 7.
The Democrats plan to push back against the Republicans’ efforts no matter what. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement that she thinks funding the project would be economically irresponsible, adding that it only appeals to the far-right voting bloc.
“Despite evidence showing the negative economic and environmental impact of Trump’s border wall and overwhelming opposition by border communities and national security experts, Republicans in Congress continue to use the border wall as a political ploy to their base.
“The people who know the border the best, whether it’s companies or lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, border communities, trade groups, economists, and law enforcement officials, all agree that building a wall is unnecessary, impractical, ineffective, and a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.”
Despite Democrats, like former President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), calling for a wall, fence, or barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border, they have tergiversated over the last couple of years and slammed border security as racist.
Do Americans Still Want a Wall?
The border wall was an important facet to Trump’s 2016 campaign. Those who voted for Trump knew that a wall would be coming. So, do Americans still support erecting a “big, beautiful wall”?
According to the latest national survey – a June 2018 Gallup poll – 57% of Americans oppose constructing walls along the country’s southern border. A more local study, one conducted in Utah, found that many residents are against building the wall if it means U.S. taxpayers have to cover the tab.
If Democrats regain control of the House – and the polling data is mixed on this – then it is unlikely that any American will see a border wall, whether it’s paid for by a taxpayer in Tijuana or a taxpayer in Biloxi, Mississippi. At least Trump can be proud for accomplishing much of his campaign platform – and that is no easy feat. Just ask his predecessors.
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