If the tone coming out of the White House on Tuesday is any indication, President Trump is set to back down from his vow to hold Congress’s feet to the fire and demand $5 billion for his border wall. Apparently having been convinced by top Republicans on Capitol Hill that a shutdown would be politically disastrous for both himself and the party, Trump is likely to move forward, sign the spending bill, and push the wall fight to another time.
“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion,” Sarah Sanders said in a Fox News interview. “At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border.”
We’re skeptical about these “other ways,” but that was the line Sanders was going with.
“There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use, that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border,” she said.
Of course, the problem is even getting the Democrats to agree to already-promised border security money. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi apparently think they have the upper hand here, because now they are rejecting a deal that would set aside $1 billion in unspent funds for use by the Trump administration on matters of immigration.
“Leader Schumer and I have said that we cannot support the offer they made of a billion-dollar slush fund for the president to implement his very wrong immigration policies,” Pelosi said. “So that won’t happen.”
There is even talk that Democrats won’t live up to their promise of $1.6 billion for fencing, so yeah. Things could actually be worse after this spending bill goes through than they were before.
If there are, indeed, “other ways” to build the wall, then it’s time to be up front about those ways. This is beyond an important issue – this is Trump’s signature campaign promise. We don’t doubt that he can win re-election based on the economy, national security, and many other issues when faced with whatever socialist the Democrats put up, but that doesn’t mean this is a matter of trivial importance. We have a completely broken border security situation, and the Republican Party appears to be utterly spineless when it comes to finding a solution.
A shutdown is never a good thing, but sometimes it is better than the alternative. We’re far enough out from 2020 that the political fallout, wherever it might land, can easily be dissipated. That’s especially true in our 24/7 news cycle mania. Now is the time to fight. Now might be the last time to fight.
We just don’t see it happening, though. Unfortunately.