In an op-ed published in The Hill, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) urged President Trump to recognize Democratic Party obstruction in Congress for what it is, realize that Nancy Pelosi and her thugs are never going to pony up the funds for the wall, and go back to the considered-and-discarded idea of declaring a national emergency. Not for the sake of a political victory, McClintock wrote, but for the fact that is actually IS a national emergency at the border.
From the op-ed:
Walls have been used for thousands of years to impede unauthorized entry, and for one reason: They work. And they still work. When Israel built a 144-mile wall to protect its southern border with Egypt, illegal immigration fell 97 percent. The $5.7 billion that Trump has requested to build a wall first authorized in 1996 is a fraction of the cost incurred by American citizens every year to support the illegal population in this country.
The impasse cannot go on much longer, and the president cannot unilaterally appropriate funds for the wall. But in 1976, Congress authorized the president to reprogram already appropriated but unobligated military construction funds for the defense of the nation. And what is more central to national defense than the integrity of our borders?
In the piece, McClintock acknowledged that there are even those within the GOP who have insisted that President Trump disregard this route.
“Some have argued that the money to secure our southern border would necessarily come from other Defense Department projects,” he wrote. “It’s an odd logic that argues the defense of the Iraqi border is more important than the defense of our own border.”
But frankly, we wonder if Republicans really oppose Trump’s option to declare a national emergency because they’re concerned about other Pentagon projects. We have to think that their real concern, in many instances, is that it would actually get the wall built. It would actually work. It would actually go a long way towards solving the problem of illegal immigration, which is the LAST thing many Republicans want to do. Oh sure, they’ll talk a great game, but actually do something about it? No, no, that would make their Chamber of Commerce donors very grumpy, indeed.
It’s clear that Pelosi & Friends are not going to cave. And it’s furthermore clear that this shutdown has political and economic perils that the president probably shouldn’t risk. The option is on the table to build the wall using existing funds. Might as well cut Congress out of the loop and get it done. The President’s most important priority is the safety and security of the nation. In doing this, Trump would be living up to the very highest duty of his office.
And, very likely, securing himself re-election in the process.