Is a deal about to be struck by congressional negotiators that would end the possibility of a shutdown? It's no sure thing, but it looks that way. The deal involves President Trump getting a minuscule $1.375 billion, not the $5.7 billion he requested, to build the border wall. Trump's not happy. He should take the deal anyway.
Americans are getting tired of the Washington two-step, which involves Trump proposing something, anything, and the Democrats en masse opposing it for no reason other than...well, Trump. Even the now much-hated border wall, which Democrats supported in both 2006 and 2012, is an example of that.
As USA Today reported, "congressional aides said (the potential deal) included $1.375 billion for a structure along the southern border — well below the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump has demanded for the wall that he made a central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign."
Trump's response, as usual, was pithy and blunt: "I would hope that there won't be a shutdown. I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us. It's sad. They're doing the country no favors."
Border Wall Or Shut Down?
With other battles looming, including a possible impeachment effort by far-left Democrats, Trump plainly doesn't want to fight over the shutdown for eternity.
So does that mean the Democrats win?
Not necessarily. In fact, the deal could be an important victory for Trump.
Not only can he "be presidential" by making what to some looks like a humiliating compromise on the wall, he can also claim a big victory of sorts: If the Democrats offer to fund the wall, even at a tiny, reduced amount, the Democrats become Trump's de facto partners.
That's a huge win for Trump.
It's true that the pittance Democrats want to give Trump can't build an effective wall — can't build much of a wall at all, in fact.
But as Trump himself has noted, there are other ways to get the job done. In particular, he could declare an emergency, which other presidents have done routinely, and spend the funds to finish the job. President Obama was one of the biggest users of this maneuver, declaring 13 separate national emergencies during his administration.
So there's a precedent.
Those who argue that a flood of illegal crossings over an unguarded border doesn't constitute an emergency either don't live near the border or don't understand why we have borders. The rising toll in violent crime, welfare and medical spending it's taking on communities across the nation is growing in cost and magnitude.
Make El Chapo Pay?
Any president who doesn't try to stop this is irresponsible. Yet, the money the Democrats want to give Trump will pay for just 55 miles out of the 2,000 miles of border wall Trump wants to build. Apart from declaring an emergency, is there another way?
Some, in particular Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have suggested an even-more creative solution: Use some of the $14 billion to $22 billion of the drug cartel assets seized from the just-convicted Narco-criminal Chapo Guzman to fund the fence.
There is also a clear military rationale for funding a border wall, out of the defense budget if necessary. According to public sources, at least 15 members of terrorist groups, mostly in the Mideast, have been apprehended since 2001, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
The terrorist groups include ISIS, Hezbollah, the Pakistani Taliban and al-Shabbab. And, according to the CIS, "The 15 terrorism-associated migrants who traveled to the U.S. southern border likely represent a significant under-count since most information reflecting such border-crossers resides in classified or protected government archives and intelligence databases."
Open-Borders Democrats' Dilemma
Now, a report from NBC News indicates these and other ideas are exactly what the Trump White House is contemplating. Apparently, Trump will take even the symbolic victory of $1.375 billion and run with it.
The point is, the Democrats can't authorize a fence and then unauthorize it. That would enrage many of their constituents.
During Monday's appearance by President Trump in El Paso, he made clear he plans to build the wall, a major unfulfilled campaign promise from 2016.
"Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway," Trump said. "We're setting the table, we're doing whatever we have to do. The wall's being built."
Sounds pretty definitive to us.
By the way, this is an enormous problem for the Democrats, whether they realize it or not. Support for the border wall in recent polls is growing.
Wall Popularity Grows
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released last month showed 42% of Americans now support a wall, the most ever. The previous high was 37% in 2017. Likewise, opposition shrank from 63% a year ago to 54% last month.
An IBD/TIPP Poll taken earlier this month found an even-higher level of support at 46%, with 53% opposed. No shock, Democrats overwhelmingly oppose it, and Republicans overwhelmingly support it. Independents are in-between.
The open-borders wing of the Democratic Party have held government hostage with their extreme ideas. If offered to him, Trump should sign the new budget. And immediately start building our badly needed wall.
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