The GOP establishment is offering excuses for its refusal to fund the border wall, while Democrats are taunting President Donald Trump over their success in blocking all wall funding.
The 2018 omnibus budget includes language barring any spending on President Donald Trump’s concrete-and-metal border walls, but it does fund 33 miles of extra front-line fencing. The GOP and Democratic leaders directed the extra fencing be placed in the Rio Grande area of the border, leaving cheap-labor migrants with easy passage through hundreds of miles of unrestricted border, especially if they apply for asylum.
Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi taunted Trump during the House debate on the bill on March 22, saying:
He has said in one of his tweets this morning how happy he was because he got the $1.6 billion to start the wall and more to come. That’s not completely true, Mr. President. There’s some resources for fencing and repairs and the rest there. But some of that money is for technology and other ways to protect our borders. We all have a responsibility to protect our borders, north and south, but if you want to think that you’re getting a wall, you just think it and sign the bill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the budget deal is only for six months, suggesting that Congress will approve another budget by the required October deadline, just before the November election. He said March 22:
This bill has funding that lasts for six months. Six months. And we’re putting the administration’s full request for the border and for border security and the wall in here for the next six months — a one year’s worth of requests in six months.
However, “not a single appropriations bill has been enacted on time since 2009,” according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Also, the election is due in November, so Senate Democrats are very unlikely to approve wall funds in the 2019 budget by the October 1 deadline, especially because they successfully delayed the 2018 budget from October 2017 to March 2018 and also struck out all 2018 wall funding. Democrats — aided by business-first Republicans — also blocked wall funding in the May 2017 omnibus.
Ryan claimed that Congress followed requests from the Border patrol — not the White House — and is funding more new barriers that Trump asked for, and he described the additional fences as “walls”:
This actually has more wall funding and more wall allotment than the administration’s request had. So we even do more in this bill than what the President’s budget asked us to do. So we’re going to be getting a downpayment and starting on the border security — and by the way, border security means a lot of things. It means a wall, it means a levee, it means see-through [fence], it means resources. It’s a very diverse border. What we do is we listen to the Border Patrol; What do you need? where do you need it? And we listen to them tell us, based on conditions on the ground, ‘These are the physical barrier structures that are necessary.’ That’s what we’re funding here and we’re getting a good head start on it.
In Ryan’s opening remarks, however, he downplayed the importance of border security, saying “the fundamental question is whether we’re going to preserve the primacy of the American military.”
Ryan’s budget bill increased Pentagon funding by $78 billion, but only provided $641 million — or five cents of every $100 — for border fencing.
Marc Short, the White House’s chief outreach aide to Congress, echoed Ryan’s six-month excuse in his appearance on MSNBC, saying “the $1.6 billion is what we asked for, and keep in mind, Hallie, it is for six months.”
Like Ryan, Short also argued that the fence is a wall, and the mandated fencing has been approved by the border patrol.
Short — who worked as a top deputy and never-Trump aide for the pro-migration Koch brothers — also said the federal government could not have spent additional funds efficiently in six months, even though agencies normally have up to five years to spend any money appropriated for construction.
Short said Congress approved more miles of fencing than expected, even though at least 14 miles of fencing will be a second layer of fencing in a secure zone near San Diego.
In many cases, the wall that they are actually putting down, that they are actually providing funding for, is the wall that is CBP has asked for in many places. Additionally, it is $1.6 billion for the next six months. That is what we believe that we can financially do in a sustainable manner. More funding than that in the next six months would not have been able to be completed, so it is what we asked for.
Additionally, we ended up getting more miles in new construction than was in our initial plan … there are naturally compromises that you need to make when you are working with Democrats … you need 60 votes in the U.S. Senate.
Did @POTUS get rolled on immigration in the new $.1.3T omnibus spending bill? @Marcshort45 tells me that although "there are strings attached" to the border wall piece, "it is $1.6 billion for the next 6 months… so it is what we asked for"
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) March 22, 2018
Democrats and business-first Republicans go to great lengths to protect the supply of cheap migrant labor.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.