Congress Comes to Unsatisfying Agreement on Border Security
Congressional negotiators announced on Monday that they had come to an “agreement in principle” on a funding bill that would avoid another government shutdown, but it’s not exactly the kind of agreement that most of us would have liked to have seen. Democrats are only coming off $1.3 billion in funding for the wall, quite a ways short of the $5.7 billion sought by the president. It remains to be seen if Trump will sign the bill, but it is known that the White House is keen to avoid another prolonged shutdown.
Funding will run out on Friday, so Congress will have to vote on the new bill and have it on President Trump’s desk by then if we are to keep the wheels of government turning.
The $1.3 billion included in the deal will pay for around 55 miles of new border barriers in the Rio Grande Valley, reports Fox News. We suppose that’s better than nothing, but we’re still a long way from the WALL that President Trump campaigned on in 2016. Whether or not this compromise will cost him with his supporters remains to be seen. It is surely true that he has done more to further the border security cause than any other president has (or would have), but that doesn’t mean his voters are going to give him a pass. He’s treading in dangerous political waters, to be sure.
Certainly, one of Trump’s most outspoken defenders was unhappy about the report of a new spending bill.
“By the way, on this new so-called compromise,” said Sean Hannity on Monday night. “I’m getting details. $1.3 billion? That’s not even a wall, a barrier. We will get back into this tomorrow. Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain—look at this crowd, look at the country.”
In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy touted the new compromise as a victory for conservatives.
“You’ve got to remember where Nancy Pelosi was,” McCarthy said. “She has said, ‘No money for a wall.’ That’s not the case. The Democrats have now agreed to more than 55 miles of new barrier.”
We suppose there’s something to be said for a spending bill that makes both Democrats and Republicans unhappy, and there still remains the possibility that Trump will take some form of executive action to get the rest of the wall constructed. If he’s going to go that route, he might want to do so sooner than later, as Democrats will surely rush to sue the administration for any attempt to go around Congress. The resulting legal battle could take months – if not longer – to resolve. With hundreds of thousands of new illegal immigrants hitting our border every year, we don’t have time to waste.