Apparently having come to the conclusion that Democrats are not about to give them $5 billion for the wall, the White House suggested on Tuesday that there may be a way to begin construction without the help of Congress. At the press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump was asking “every agency to look and see if they have money” that can be re-allocated to the wall.
“You know, at this point, the Senate has thrown out a lot of ideas. We’re disappointed in the fact that they’ve yet to actually vote on something and pass something. So when they do that, we’ll make a determination on whether or not we’re going to sign that. In the meantime, we’re looking at every avenue available to us possible,” Sanders said.
“The president has asked every one of his cabinet secretaries to look for funding that can be used to protect our borders and give the president the ability to fulfill his constitutional obligation to protect the American people by having a secure border,” she continued. “So we’re looking at the other options. In the meantime, we’ll see what the Senate does, and we’ll let you know when we have an announcement on that front.”
Sharp-eyed readers will, of course, see that this kind of rhetoric differs considerably with what we heard coming from the president only a week earlier, when he said he would be “proud” to shut down the government if it meant drawing a line in the sand on border security. And those readers may in fact agree with disgruntled supporters like Ann Coulter, who lashed out at Trump this week in remarks to The Daily Caller.
“Either Trump never intended to build a wall and was scamming voters from the beginning or he hasn’t the first idea in how to get it done and no interest in finding out,” Coulter said Tuesday. “My prediction is his support will evaporate and Trump will very likely not finish his term and definitely not be elected to a second term.”
Coulter, granted, has been known to get apoplectic and hyperbolic when it comes to the wall and immigration-enforcement, but she may have a point. Millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump because he promised to go harder and farther than any other Republican on that stage to solve America’s illegal immigration crisis. He promised to build a wall. And thus far, that wall has manifestly NOT materialized.
A shutdown might not solve the problem, but it would at least signal that Trump is dead-serious about this issue. Vague promises about the USMCA and cabinet secretaries? That sounds shaky at best.