"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I build them very inexpensively." President Donald Trump
Trump demands that the federal funding of government for next year include the cost to build, according to him, an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.”
With it comes the threat of a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t include funding fot the wall.
The funding will be expensive:
Trump claims his wall will cost $10bn to $12bn.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell estimates the cost between $12bn and $15bn.
“A study by the Washington Post estimated the cost of the president's wall would be closer to $25bn.”
“The 650 miles of fencing already put up has cost the government more than $7bn, and none of it could be described, even charitably, as impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful or beautiful.
“There are other reasons the costs would be likely to escalate beyond Mr. Trump's price tag - his plans require extending the wall into increasingly remote and mountainous regions, raising the building costs substantially.
“Adding even more to the expense, the new 1,000 miles would crisscross private land, which would have to be purchased, perhaps by legal force, or financial settlements made with owners,” according to the BBC.
TomDispatch says, Honestly, here's the joke story of the week (in my opinion) -- even if it is the darkest of humor. The president may shut down the government on -- exactly -- his 100th day in office and deport it for not building his wall!
Here are the opening paragraphs from the Guardian:
"Looming above Washington as Congress and the White House attempt to avert a funding shutdown in only five days’ time, Donald Trump’s central campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border threatens to bring the US government to a halt this week in a national display of dysfunction.
"On Sunday, even White House officials expressed uncertainty about whether the president would sign a funding bill that did not include money for a wall, which Trump has promised since the first day of his presidential campaign.
“We don’t know yet,” said the White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, on Fox News Sunday. “We are asking for our priorities.”
"The president himself waded into the negotiations on Sunday, holding out two sticks and no carrot. ‘ObamaCare is in serious trouble,’ he tweeted. ‘The Dems need big money to keep it going – otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.’
“ ‘The Democrats don’t want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members,’ he continued, suggesting he would accuse Democrats of being soft on international crime.
"But Trump also retreated from a related pledge to the American people: that he would ‘make Mexico pay’ for the wall, which is estimated to cost billions.
“ ‘Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall,’ the president tweeted, without offering a plan or timeline.
"Without a deal, funding for the government will run out at midnight on 28 April, Trump’s 100th day in office. The secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday he suspected the president would push for the wall."
Donald Trump softened his line on
making Mexico pay. ‘Eventually,
but at a later date so we can get
started early, Mexico will be paying,
in some form, for the badly needed
border wall,’ he tweeted.
Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP