Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Build That Wall!

Say what!? I thought Mexico was going to pay for that.
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released a bill allocating $1.6 billion to begin construction of a physical barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico, one of President Trump’s central campaign promises.

The bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal year 2018 also negates one of Trump’s central promises, that Mexico would pay for the construction of the wall.


“On the DHS side it’s clear that we’ve gotten a direction to secure the southern border, that a wall and barrier is part of that process along with people and technology and that funding from Congress is required for us to move forward on that,” [DHS spokesman David Lapan] said.


Conservative lawmakers in recent days had begun warning that they would pull their votes from a budget and spending plan that failed to fund the wall.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) went so far as to tell Breitbart News that Trump would not sign a spending measure if a wall were not funded, though the White House has not commented on the matter.

The bill's accompanying report, to be released next week, will specify where the segments of the wall are to be built and their associated funding.


In total, the bill allocates $13.8 billion to customs and border protection. That includes the $1.6 billion for the wall, $100 million to hire 500 more Border Patrol agents, $131 million for new border technology, $106 million for aircraft and sensors and $109 million for "non-intrusive inspection equipment."

  The Hill
Inspection of what? Non-intrusive.

What will the Senate do?

While House Republicans have enough votes to pass such a bill even with some defections, the move would likely face trouble in the Senate, where Republicans need eight Democrats to join them to advance any funding bill. Democrats have already signaled they would oppose any funding bill that includes money for the wall.
The big, beautiful Wall with the big, beautiful Door is now one of those fetish objects—like the Keystone XL pipeline and the imaginary Ronald Reagan—to which good Republican politicians must pay fealty. This will be true even if it never gets built, or only partly gets built, or even if it gets built and doesn't work the way it's supposed to work, or even if it turns out that Mexico shockingly won't pay for it. These fetish objects carry substantial political salience even when they don't exist.


They surely want the big, beautiful Wall with the big, beautiful Door but, in its absence, they will protect the idea of it.

  Charles P Pierce
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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