'Bad' border deal welcomed by 'Swamp', but Trump seems unconcerned
While the details of the compromise hammered out by the House and Senate conference committee have not been made public, some bits leaked to the media by congressional staff indicate it allocates only $1.375 billion for border barrier – far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had asked for – and cuts funding for immigration detention centers.Also on rt.com Congress reaches last-minute deal to avoid another government shutdown… ‘in principle’
Democrat and Republican establishment favored the deal, not surprisingly. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) urged Trump to sign the bill and spare the country of “another nightmare” shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) also urged Trump to go along, calling it a “step in the right direction” even if “not everything the president hoped to get.”
The president’s supporters in the congressional Freedom Caucus were unhappy, however, calling it a bad deal and urging Trump to take executive action.
While the President was giving a great speech in El Paso, Congress was putting together a bad deal on immigration.#DoWhatWeSaid— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 12, 2019
Democrats applaud sending $1.8 billion to Iran under Obama but can’t even find that much to secure America’s border. If this is the best they can do, it’s obvious they have no interest in serious border security. At this point it’s clear: POTUS should take executive action.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 12, 2019
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday at the White House, Trump said he was “extremely unhappy” with the deal, adding that it was “not doing the trick” – but that another shutdown was unlikely.
Am I happy? The answer is no. But am I happy where we’re going? Absolutely.
Without going into details, Trump suggested that his administration was already doing some work on the border barrier, repurposing funds from elsewhere.
“We’re going to build a big, beautiful strong wall,” he said. “I never kid about construction. I love construction, and I know how to do it for the right price.”
Reporters on the ground in El Paso, Texas – where Trump held a big campaign-style rally on Monday evening – posted photos of construction crews erecting a barrier made of steel slats.
A few hundred yards away from where BP apprehended a group of 18 Central Americans, crews are putting up new barriers in downtown El Paso. Before, there was nothing here but a chain link fence. @FDRLSTpic.twitter.com/cb0ZUDRPBE— John Daniel Davidson (@johnddavidson) February 12, 2019
News of the congressional compromise has elicited a range of reactions among Trump supporters and critics alike. Columnist Ann Coulter tweeted that Trump seems afraid to fight for the wall, and called the reported bargain his “Yellow New Deal,” a pun on the Green New Deal, a recent Democrat fantasy policy proposal.
Trump talks a good game on the border wall but it's increasingly clear he's afraid to fight for it. Call this his "Yellow New Deal."— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 12, 2019
The author of that proposal, freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) was unhappy about additional funding being given to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency she has campaigned on abolishing.
Why is it so controversial to say that when children die in an agency’s care and there’s no accountability, they shouldn’t have their budget expanded?People need to wake up. Trump’s not building a wall. He’s building detention camps for kids.And we’re falling for it. https://t.co/Zx4rOROg4t— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 12, 2019
Cartoonist Scott Adams was more forgiving, pointing out that the Democrats on the panel rejected the recommendations made by experts from the Customs and Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security, who have repeatedly said a physical barrier is needed in multiple locations.
If Congress ignores the recommendation of border experts without explaining their reasons to the public, they are spitting in the faces of voters. And if so, the Commander in Chief has a responsibility to do what experts recommend. https://t.co/UHDowqJIRl— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) February 12, 2019
Journalist Jack Posobiec had another proposal: sell off the confiscated assets of Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman – found guilty by an American jury on Tuesday – and fund the wall, thereby fulfilling the “Mexico will pay for it” promise from Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Other Trump supporters have repeatedly urged the president to invoke national emergency powers to redirect funding towards wall construction. While he chose not to do so during the shutdown, on Monday Trump said he wouldn’t rule it out. His campaign actually polled supporters on the question last week.
The longest-ever government shutdown, which lasted 35 days, began when Senate Democrats rejected a bill passed by the Republican-majority House in December, giving Trump $5.7 billion for the wall. Some 800,000 federal workers were either sent home or mandated to work without pay. When Democrats took over the House on January 3, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) vowed she would not approve a single penny for the wall, calling it “immoral.”
On January 25, Trump accepted the proposal by Democrats and Republicans to temporarily reopen the government until a committee could come up with a compromise acceptable to both sides.
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