On Wednesday, Congress released a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that provides no funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall – a major setback for Trump, who had demanded $25 billion to construct a concrete barrier to stop illegal crossings from Mexico.
From News Max
Though Republicans control both the House and the Senate, Congressional leaders caved to Democrats’ demands that the spending bill include zero funding for one of the president’s key legislative priorities.
“Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan don’t want a border wall; they detest the idea of it,” one Congressional insider told Newsmax. “They are trying to sell the president on the idea they’ll fund it in another bill when they know that won’t happen.”
The spending bill does provide more than $1.2 billion for border security enhancements, including high-tech surveillance systems, as well as some $641 million for over 30 miles of new fences and border-crossing obstacles.
But Democrats strongly objected to any funding for a permanent wall that will help control illegal immigration across almost 2,000 miles of the border with Mexico.
Conservatives already are slamming the 2,232 page bill that dramatically increases spending – one that is set to be voted on as soon as Thursday with almost no Congressional or public deliberation.
“I’m voting against it … and if the bill passes the way it is, I hope the White House does veto,” conservative Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan told The Hill. “But I think it’s not good for the American taxpayer, not consistent, anywhere close to consistent, to what we said we would do when they elected us in 2016.”
Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows shared the sentiment.
“It is troubling when we get a tunnel and we don’t get a wall,” Meadows said.
Meadow’s reference to a “tunnel” was the $541 million the bill earmarks for the massive Gateway rail tunnel that will link New York City and New Jersey.
The Gateway project has been a pet project of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Gateway will receive more than half of the $900 million Schumer sought for the project. The omnibus provides more than $3.2 billion for infrastructure and railway projects not specifically earmarked, money that could be used to cover the balance of Schumer’s request.
The omnibus, though denying any funding for the border wall, will give ignition to Gateway, a project that is expected to cost taxpayers at least $30 billion to complete.