Republicans Surrender on Trump’s Border Wall to Push Paul Ryan’s ‘Tax Reform 2.0’

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Susan Walsh/ AP

While GOP midterm voters — by a majority — say they want President Trump’s economic nationalist agenda on immigration, Republican lawmakers are ignoring those calls to instead promote House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “tax reform 2.0.”

For the last six months, GOP midterm voters have told pollsters that the number one issue facing the country is immigration. Meanwhile, tax reform is considered one of the least pressing issues in the U.S. by Republican voters.

Among 53 percent of GOP voters in the latest Harvard/Harris Poll, immigration should be the biggest priority for the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. This makes immigration more important to Republican voters than even the economy, terrorism, and healthcare.

Tax reform, on the other hand, ranks among one of the least important issues to Republican voters, with only 11 percent saying it is the most pressing issue in the country. This makes tax reform less important than even obscure issues like corruption, guns, and national defense.

The will of GOP voters, though, is not stopping Republican lawmakers from surrendering on Trump’s populist-nationalist immigration agenda before the midterm elections. Even Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) — considered a conservative leader in Congress — told the Huffington Post that border wall funding should be further prolonged until next year.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have both previously said that they will not fight for the border wall before the midterms, instead surrendering the issue to Democrats.

“We have a very good understanding with the president that we want to get our appropriations done,” Ryan told Roll Call last week.

“We still want to get funding for the wall,” McConnell told Fox News last week. “But we think the best time to have that discussion is after the election.”

The border wall funding the GOP leadership wants to approve after the midterm election is tied to a slew of open borders policies, as Breitbart News’s Neil Munro reported, that will inflate immigration levels while only providing a sliver of funds to construct the wall.

Rather than focusing on securing the $25 billion it is expected to cost to build the border wall, Republican lawmakers will begin touting their “tax reform 2.0” plan.

The plan is likely to be embraced by Trump foes and the big business lobby — some of the primary donors to the GOP — such as the Chamber of Commerce, the billionaire Koch brothers, and the Business Roundtable.

Almost two years into the Trump presidency, the GOP-controlled Congress has yet to give any money towards the border wall. In the last spending fight earlier this year, the GOP actually funded a border wall in the country of Jordan, but banned Trump from using border wall prototypes on the U.S.-Mexico border.

This is the second year that Ryan’s uninfluential, economic libertarian agenda of tax reform and spending cuts has taken priority over Trump’s populist-nationalist agenda of immigration reduction and a border wall.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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