Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Someone's Got To Jettison The Great Wall of Trump-- Might As Be The GOP


Did you always have the feeling that Trump's campaign ploy-- his absurdly expensive ($20 billion) and ineffective, beautiful wall-- would be a non-starter? If so you were probably correct. Democrats won't vote for anything that includes funds for the nonsense and more and more Republican congressman-- many who oppose the whole idea to begin with-- are not ready for a shut-down-the-government fight over the wall. Yesterday Burgess Everett and Rachel Bade reported for Politico that even though the Regime knows the only way to get funding for the wall would be to tie it in to a bill to keep the government open, GOP leaders in Congress know they need Democratic votes for that because they "expect a significant number of conservatives to defect on any government funding bill, as they have in the past." Democratic votes won't come if a wall is included-- so, despite Trump-- they're ready to leave the wall funding out of the bill. That would probably mean bye-bye wall, although Trump will still be able to whine and bluster about it well into the future.
“It remains to be seen,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) in an interview. “What I would like to see is a plan for how the money would be spent and a good faith discussion about what border security is really composed of. We haven’t had that.”

Asked about the prospects for a lapse in government funding, Cornyn was definitive: “There’s not going to be a shutdown.”

The White House made an initial request earlier this month for $1.4 billion in border wall funding as part of a package that boosts defense spending by $30 billion, with the thought that it would hitch a ride to the broader government funding bill due next month. Republicans expect the final price tag for the wall could be more than $20 billion.

The problem is that polls show the border wall is not all that popular, particularly if the United States is paying for it, and it does not unify congressional Republicans in the way Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch or even the basic goal of repealing Obamacare have done. That makes it a harder sell to the rank-and-file GOP-- especially if pressing it means playing a government shutdown blame game with Democrats.

“The border wall is probably not a smart investment,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who proposes funding the wall as part a package legalizing some young undocumented immigrants and beefing up enforcement.

Several sources said it is unclear whether Trump wants to take the fight to Democrats over the wall or avoid a shutdown battle. His Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in recent weeks has suggested the administration will focus more on the wall in the future, perhaps as late as fiscal 2019.

...Of course, some in the GOP [read: Bannon] are itching for a border battle. A senior Republican source suggested Trump could conceivably win a shutdown fight if he went to the mat to defend it: “This is his signature issue. I cannot imagine a scenario where the Trump administration loses on the border wall funding. If I were them, I’d dare the Democrats to shut down the government over this.”

Another senior House Republican source [read Priebus] disagreed completely: "The Trump administration can't have another disaster on its hands. I think right now they have to show some level of competence and that they can govern."

Republicans began the year thinking that they could get moderate Democrats and perhaps even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to fund construction of a wall that some Democrats have supported in the past. But Schumer has warned McConnell that his party will not support any “riders” in the funding bill intended to jam Democrats with conservative policies.

“The wall is a poison-pill rider,” Schumer said in an interview. “They’ll do it at their peril.”

We may have to hold the slippery Schumer to that, so let's not forget it. What if Trump gets all hopped upon Adderall one weekend and has tantrum and demands Ryan give him the money? With no Democrats-- or next to no Democrats-- on board, Ryan could only afford to lose a couple of dozen Republicans in a balls-to-the-walls bill that includes funding the wall. The problem would be in the Senate, where McConnell would have to hold every Republican together-- even though several have been publicly skeptical about the wall-- and win at least eight Senate Democrats to break a filibuster that Schumer has promised.

About 10 days ago PPP found that only 37% of Americans are willing to see U.S. taxes fund the wall. And just 16% of voters liked Trump's trial balloon that he'd cut the budgets of the Coast Guard, TSA and FEMA to pay for the wall.

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At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what we need is a maginot/sigfried line of heavily armed, fixed fortifications to kill them before they get TO the great wall. If they get TO the wall, they'll be able to tunnel under, climb over or bore through the great wall. Wouldn't want that aesthetically pleasing (our side only) great wall to be sullied by holes, scorch marks and footprints of evil latino rapists and murderers, would we?


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