Following passage of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill by Congress, there was an outcry by conservatives — as well as the president — about the glut of wasteful spending contained within the package.
A big source of consternation was that Congress was able to find plenty of taxpayer money to spend on a variety of programs and projects favored by the left, but claimed to be incapable of finding the $25 billion sought by President Donald Trump to fully fund construction of the border wall.
As reported by The Hill, the anger over wasteful spending on non-priority items has led the Trump administration to propose a request for $15 billion worth of rescissions, a “clawing back” of unspent funds sitting idle from previous appropriations bills that might later be used for other purposes.
On Sunday’s “Fox & Friends,” Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo spoke about the rescission request and made a related observation about the lack of funds for the border wall that plenty of conservatives have wondered about themselves.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 14, 2018
“By the way, it is a little mind-boggling that you have a $47 trillion budget over 10 years and you can’t find $25 billion for the wall in that,” Bartiromo said.
Her observation is as correct as it is infuriating for many of Trump’s supporters who are concerned about securing the southern border from illegal immigration, drug and human smuggling and other illicit criminal cartel activity.
The blame for that disconcerting failure on the part of Congress to provide funds for a border wall rests squarely on the shoulders of obstructionist Democrats — as well as a few anti-Trump establishment Republicans — who seem to prefer open borders and a continuation of the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.
Should rescinded, unspent funds be used for the border wall?
Sadly, it doesn’t appear that’s about to change, unless more Republicans in line with the president’s MAGA agenda are elected to Congress, which should be a top priority for Trump’s legion of supporters across the nation in the November midterm elections.
As to the rescission request, Bartiromo noted that Trump had gone so far as to threaten Congress with a shutdown in the fall if they denied both his request to rescind unspent funds and failed to again provide funds for the border wall — a potentially dangerous gambit ahead of the aforementioned elections for both sides of the aisle.
The Hill report pointed out that $15 billion in rescinded funds was barely a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of trillion-dollar budgets, and is likely just the first of such requests to come from the administration.
In fact, there are already reports that the administration is at work drawing up another rescission request totaling roughly $10 billion in unspent funds.
The report also noted that Democrats really had no room to attack the requests either, as they draw almost exclusively from funding that had been previously set aside for certain projects and programs that are defunct, expired or no longer necessary.
Should those requests be passed and the unspent funds clawed back into congressional coffers, $25 billion in unused funds Congress had already considered spent long ago could be reappropriated for the border wall.
As to Bartiromo’s observation, and given that Congress has already divvied up approximately $47 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, why can’t an additional $25 billion in the form of an unplanned windfall be used for the wall?
Congress won’t do that unless it is compelled to, though, so it is incumbent upon constituents and voters to pressure their representatives to come up with the funds for the border wall as soon as possible — if they want to keep their jobs in Congress, that is.
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