In the short time Donald Trump has been president, he shows no signs of backing down from his campaign promises (well, except for the one about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem). Although Trump has faced plenty of opposition, from Democrats to judges to a hostile media, he shows no signs of slowing down.
Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that Trump still has designs on building the border wall. Many have accused Trump of abandoning that promise, but his 2018 budget request paints a different picture.
President Donald Trump will ask Congress next Tuesday to provide $2.6 billion in the September budget deal for border infrastructure in 2018, including the construction of new border walls, according to details provided to the New York Times.
According to the report:
According to officials, $1.6 billion of that money would go toward materials to build the wall. That would initially be used for continuing the levy [sic] wall in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and replacing existing fencing in El Paso and in San Diego. The remaining $1 billion would go toward planning for the rest of the wall and other security measures.
Although the request may seem modest, Trump is likely trying to find a way around Democratic opposition to get the desired funding:
The modest request may suggest they are trying to reduce opposition from Democrats in Congress, Krikorian added. “Maybe they’re trying to come up with something that [Democratic leader Chuck] Schumer won’t shut down the government over… but there’s no reason Schumer won’t threaten a government shutdown in September over wall funding — he did that in April and he got away with it.”
“On the other hand, there is a lot of real-estate to buy if you are going to do more wall construction, and maybe [White House officials] are figuring it is not worth asking for money for construction until they have purchased the land,” he added.
Whatever the underlying strategy, the request shows the White House hasn’t abandoned the plan to build the wall. The initial $2.6 billion would be enough to get a lot of the project started, or acquire the land needed for construction.
Even so, the request is likely to face fierce resistance from Democrats. Chuck Schumer has threatened to shut down the government over any funding for a border wall. Whether or not he has the political will to continue that stance remains to be seen.
Despite that, no amount of resistance has dissuaded Trump so far. Whatever obstacles he faces, Trump seems determined to keep the promises he made on the campaign.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]