Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were getting ready to celebrate.
They thought they pulled a fast one on President Trump.
But their lives were turned upside down when Trump hinted he could deal them this surprising defeat.
Congress appears ready to pass legislation providing 1.375 billion dollars in border wall funding to construct 55 miles of barrier in the Rio Grande Valley.
Democrats thought that since Trump asked for 5.7 billion dollars that this signaled a massive defeat for the President.
However, that was not the case.
President Trump used it as just the first step.
And Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced he had other options to secure border wall funding.
“Like the president himself said yesterday, he’s not happy about it, but he’s okay because he’s going to get the job done no matter what,” Sanders declared. “He’s got alternative options. And he’s going to keep those on the table, again, we’ll see what the final package looks like and the president will make a determination on whether or not he is going to sign it.”
One option was reprogramming some unspent money available to the President from other departments.
That could secure up to 900 million dollars in additional funding.
Trump could also declare a national emergency.
That would allow the President to tap into over three billion dollars in military construction project funds.
But both of those strategies carry the risk that they could be tied up in court fights for years.
There is one more legislative option Trump could explore.
A jury recently convicted Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on charges that could put the Mexican drug lord in prison for the rest of his life.
After his arrest, the federal government also seized over 14 billion dollars in assets from “El Chapo.”
Back in 2017, Senator Ted Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act – otherwise known as the EL CHAPO Act – to use El Chapo’s assets to fund border wall construction.
“The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering,” Cruz declared when he introduced this bill.
After El Chapo’s conviction, Cruz revived the legislation and demanded a vote.
Senator Cruz tweeted, “America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts. U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder.”
A vote on this bill could put the Democrats in a pickle.
They’ve objected to wall funding in part because they claim U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill.
Cruz’s EL CHAPO Act takes care of that.
Do you support legislation to use drug kingpin El Chapo’s seized assets to fund the border wall?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.