Having failed to convince Mexico to pay for an insulting $22 billion border wall, and having scraped together barely 1/1000th of the funds necessary to build the wall from existing funding sources, the Trump White House has apparently resigned itself to paying for the wall the old fashioned way: by having its Republican friends in Congress dump the expense on American taxpayers.
Democratic lawmakers are having none of it, and are telling their Republican counterparts that any attempt to fund the wall by tacking it on to a larger spending bill will fail. Reports Politico, “Chuck Schumer is warning Mitch McConnell not to include money for a border wall with Mexico in a must-pass government funding bill next month, the first step in what could turn into a pitched shutdown fight over the Southern wall promoted by President Donald Trump.”
In a letter signed by Schumer and other prominent Senate Democrats, Schumer wrote, “We believe it would be inappropriate to insist on the inclusion of such funding in a must-pass appropriations bill that is needed for the Republican majority in control of the Congress to avert a government shutdown so early in President Trump’s Administration.”
The Democrats’ strong opposition to the border wall is encouraging, and may be a sign of a bolder effort by congressional Democrats to assert themselves as a viable check on the powers of the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress.