Donald Trump’s pledge to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it helped vault him to the top of the GOP primary polls.
It was a position he never relinquished on his way to the presidency.
Now that he is about to take office, there is a secret from Obama’s past Trump can use to build the wall.
In 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act and President Bush signed the bill into law.
The legislation called for 850 miles of double fencing along the southern border.
Just 34 miles were completed.
But the law never expired, and there is no upper limit on how many miles of fence can be constructed — the bill leaves it up to Congress to decide that based on how much money they will appropriate.
Now Republican leaders are considering using the provisions of this law to slip funding for Trump’s border wall into a must-pass government funding bill in April.
Democrats would be forced to either accept the wall or shut down the government.
And the GOP is going to use their past votes in favor of the Secure Fence Act — including the “yea” vote cast by then-Senator Barack Obama — against them.
Republican leaders, in tandem with Trump’s transition staff, are considering using a 2006 law signed by former President George W. Bush that authorized the construction of 700 miles-plus of “physical barrier” on the southern border. The law was never fully implemented and did not include a sunset provision, allowing Trump to pick up where Bush left off — with the help of new money from Congress.
Yet the plan could potentially provoke a showdown with Democrats over government funding. Republicans are considering whether to tuck the border wall funding into a must-pass spending bill that must be enacted by the end of April. GOP lawmakers and aides believe they could win a public relations war over the matter by daring Democrats — particularly vulnerable red-state Senators up for re-election next year — to shutter the government over one of Trump’s most popular campaign pledges.
Bolstering their cause is a long list of Senate Democrats who voted for the border measure a decade ago, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — making it harder for Democrats to say no now, Republicans believe.
“There’s already in existing law the authorization for hundreds of miles of build-out on the southern border … so, one important step in the right direction will be funding the existing law and beginning the building out of hundreds of miles of wall, or fence, on the southern border,” said House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer (Ind.).
In the article, Politico claimed this strategy accepted the idea that American tax dollars — and not Mexico — would pay for the wall.
But Trump took to Twitter and blasted the completely dishonest media and said Mexico would pay America back for the wall, but the GOP was moving forward with the funding strategy for the sake of speed.
The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
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