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Spicer Remains Vague on Border Wall Funding and Upcoming Budget Fight

Spicer Remains Vague on Border Wall Funding and Upcoming Budget Fight

To build a big, beautiful wall or not

Tuesday, I blogged that funding for a border wall may complicate the budget showdown set for next month. President Trump asked Congress for around $1 billion to start building a wall along 62 miles on the border.

Time White House correspondent Zeke Miller asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer if the administration considers funding for a border wall with Mexico a deal breaker when it comes to next month’s spending bill:

“That is our request,” press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday when asked if the wall funding is a deal-breaker for a must-pass spending bill.

Unfortunately, a more specific answer is needed since the government faces a partial shutdown if Congress cannot pass a bill by April 29.

Spicer said he would not go into details, but that the White House “will continue to work with Congress on the rest of the budget.”

The White House may face opposition from some of those Republicans similar to the pushback it received on the healthcare bill, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

Some defense hawks, like Graham, are concerned that the border wall fight could complicate an effort to get extra spending for the military.

“Democrats, I think, are in a spot where they’re open-minded to military spending as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of” domestic spending, Graham said. “Here’s what I’d tell my colleagues in the House: If you don’t think the Defense Department is an emergency situation, you’ve just stopped listening.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has hinted no one in his party will support the bill if it contains wall funding:

Republicans began the year thinking that they could get moderate Democrats and perhaps even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to fund construction of a wall that some Democrats have supported in the past. But Schumer has warned McConnell that his party will not support any “riders” in the funding bill intended to jam Democrats with conservative policies.

“The wall is a poison-pill rider,” Schumer said in an interview. “They’ll do it at their peril.”

D.C. Republicans took a huge hit when health care failed. They cannot afford another.


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i don’t believe the Dems will risk playing the “shutdown chicken” game this time.

When they did it with a cooperative President, Obama, they could rely on him to “shut down” portions of the Federal behemoth which would minimize savings but maximize annoyance, and the Press spin machine could then blame the Republicans for all the excitement; after which the Governmet could go back to its regular bloated size and expense, with no lasting harm done to the program of fundamental transformation.

They can’t rely on Trump to be so subservient. If they hand him an excuse to “shut down” the government, he can close yuge segments which nobody will even notice … and never start them up again after the Dems stop their obstruction. And the Press will have a harder time blaming the Republicans for a situation the public doesn’t even find annoying.

I have no great regard for the intellectual horsepower of any of the current crop of Dems, but I don’t believe they’re quite dumb enough to give Trump such an obvious opportunity.