Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer appears set to coast to yet another easy victory in an end of year government funding dispute, as the GOP and White House now appear poised to cave on a previous demand for $5 billion in wall funding.
Although it seems a bare minimum to merely begin wall construction is an unacceptable demand, the same government funding package in which wall funding is noticeably absent features more than $10 billion in foreign aid directed towards Mexico and Central America. It was announced at a State Department event in Mexico with the Mexican foreign secretary that $5.8 billion will be spent in Central America for “strengthening government and economic development,” with an additional $4.8 billion slated for economic development in Southern Mexico.
The purpose for the foreign aid payment was framed as a way for poor countries in the region to improve circumstances as a means to make caravan-style mass migration to the United States unnecessary. However, the irony of paying foreign nations to stop the flow of migrants while keeping the porous and unsecured U.S border largely exposed could strike many conservatives and American nationalists as a totally flawed set of priorities.
To put matters in perspective, most serious estimates gauging the price of an effective and serious border wall estimate it would cost between $20-30 billion. The money the U.S. taxpayer is slated to send across the border as a free gift to the notoriously corrupt governments of countries like Mexico and Honduras could have been spent to cover half the costs of the border wall that the American people were promised in the 2016 Presidential election.
After signaling a willingness to shut down the government for the bare minimum of $5 billion to begin wall construction, the Trump administration seems to have backtracked, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the administration wished to avoid a shutdown. She said that the administration was looking at alternative means of securing wall funding and construction.
Enough excuses and slush payments to corrupt foreign governments while the border wall remains unrealized.
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