The current January 2019 GOP strategy to shift blame onto the US Congressional Democrats for this longest lasting government shutdown in US history starting on 22nd December with no end in sight, is not fooling the American peoples to where it’s a dud, but one that is causing grievous harm to 800,000 government public servants with no end in sight as they have to forgo their paychecks or have them delayed.
Republicans may claim amnesia as to why the president’s demands for funding his wall had not been adequately addressed in 2017 and 2018 when republicans were in control of all three branches of the US government but “we the people” are all too familiar as to what’s been happening in the US Congress. We all know that the reason President Trump didn’t get the funding that he wanted for his wall in 2017 and 2018 was because only about 1 in 4 GOP members in the US Congress were in favor of funding the president’s wall in excess of about $1.6 billion dollars. With this history, how on earth can the President Trump and the US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with a straight face, attempt to shift the blame onto the Democrats for the GOP failing to previously to meet his demands.
As per 8/7/18 AZ Central Report, “Donald Trump’s border wall could cost much more than estimated, new report says” by Rafael Carranza, “Homeland Security has not fully documented one of two approved border infrastructure projects, the replacement of miles of secondary fencing in San Diego, the report states.”
“DHS plans to spend billions of dollars developing and deploying new barriers along the southwest border,” the report said. “However, by proceeding without key information on cost, acquisition baselines, and the contributions of previous barrier and technology deployments, DHS faces an increased risk that the Border Wall System Program will cost more than projected, take longer than planned, or not fully perform as expected.”
“The 49-page report is a response to key Democrats in Congress who requested the Government Accountability Office examine how Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security plan future barriers on the southwest border.”
“The Government Accountability Office said it reviewed documents and consulted with federal officials from October 2017 to June 2018.”
“The report shows us what we already knew,” U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, said. “The Trump Administration put almost zero thought into the construction of this wall other than how it will play in the news cycle.”
On January 12, 2019, Jamie Dupree of www.boston25news.com penned the following report, “Border wall fight didn’t really start until after GOP lost House”
1. “Trump 2017 and 2018 budgets. President Trump’s first budget, unveiled in May 2017, had money specifically designated ‘to construct a physical wall along the southern border,’ as part of a $2.6 billion border security plan, which included extra border patrol and immigration agents. In the President’s second budget plan issued in February of 2018, the Trump Administration again had what the White House labeled “critical investments” in border security to combat illegal immigration, budget plans which included “$1.6 billion for construction of the border wall.” President Trump wanted much more for the wall, but even his budget plans which were sent to Congress didn’t come close to the $5.7 billion he is requesting now, during this partial government shutdown fight.”
2. “Republicans ignore the wall in two Omnibus spending plans. Just like is happening now in early 2019, the Congress took well into 2017 and 2018 to finish their budget work (which should have done by the previous October). In both of those budgets, Republicans in the Congress approved money for border security – like fencing – but not a wall. For example, in May 2017, the GOP Congress okayed $341 million “to replace approximately 40 miles of existing primary pedestrian and vehicle border fencing along the southwest border.” In the 2018 Omnibus, which was voted on in late March of 2018, the President received the more specific approval of nearly $1.6 billion in fencing and border barriers. You can see the list of projects below. Again – none of that is for a ‘border wall.’
3. “Immigration reform efforts run aground in Senate. In February of 2018, the Senate capped off an acrimonious several weeks of debate and negotiation with the President by defeating four different immigration plans. The one offered by GOP Senators with the most money for the border wall – $25 billion – received just 39 votes, the least amount of support of any of the immigration packages voted on by Senators. There was also a bipartisan immigration plan which included $25 billion for border security, paired with a 10-12 year pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” That plan received 54 votes, but short of the 60 needed. Republicans and the President could have secured funding for the President’s wall with this plan, backed by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) – but it was opposed by most GOP Senators because of the DACA provisions. No compromise – no wall.”
5. “Senate looks to repeat the $1.6 billion for 2019. In developing spending bills for 2019, the Senate Appropriations Committee – controlled by the Republican Party – put together a homeland security funding measure which kept the amount of money for border security at $1.6 billion, the same level okayed by the Omnibus funding bill which Congress approved in March of 2018. In the funding bill for border security efforts in 2019, there is no mention of a border wall in the Senate plan, but there is a very specific mention that the $1.6 billion “shall be available for approximately 65 miles of pedestrian fencing” on the southwest border, in the Rio Grande River sector in Texas. This Homeland Security Appropriations bill was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote, either before or after the 2018 elections.”
6. “House bill advertises wall funding – but gives few details. As the House Appropriations Committee rolled out its version of the Homeland Security funding bill for 2019, the GOP headline was that Republicans were giving the President nearly $5 billion for his wall. President Trump was very happy, as on July 18 he tweeted his thanks to Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), who was in charge of the homeland security funding measure. But there was one puzzling part about this GOP bill – if you actually read the text of the legislative language and/or the report language for the bill, there is no actual mention of a wall. Instead, in debate, fencing was referred to more than anything else. As you can see here, there’s no mention of a wall in the text of the bill put forward by House Republicans in the summer of 2018.”
7. “No wall vote until after the November elections. Even as the President was still pushing for money for the border wall, Republicans in the House and Senate were ready to wrap up work for the year without addressing the wall issue. The Senate had approved a stop gap funding bill to February 8, 2019 – and many Senators headed home on December 19 and 20, thinking their work was over. But then, the House cobbled together a bill which combined $5.7 billion for border security with almost $8 billion in disaster relief for hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia, along with help for wildfire victims in California. But even as the House approved that measure – as with previous House bills on the border – there was no direct mention of a border wall, just an overall amount of money that Republicans wanted to spend on border security.”
8. “The House GOP plan leads to a shutdown standoff. GOP leaders had shied away from forcing a vote on money for the border wall in the House throughout 2017 and 2018, convinced the votes were not there among Republicans. But in the final days before Christmas, GOP leaders – at the urging of the President – rolled the dice, and won a majority. But the bill never received a vote in the Senate before the start of the new Congress, because it certainly was not going to get the 60 votes it needed to get past a certain filibuster by Democrats. Once Democrats took control of the House on January 3 for the 116th Congress, it was back to square one. The partial government shutdown began on December 22 – 800,000 federal workers missed their first paycheck on January 11 – and this fight seems to have no end in sight.”
Where did GOP leaders get the idea that a government shutdown would force Democrats to be more accommodating than their own members had been for past years? Oh, I forgot! It was the right wing pundits like the Fox and Friends’ hosts, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh who think they are now running our US government as they can goad with ease, President Trump.