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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), one of the key members of the progressive Congressional “squad,” reiterated a claim Sunday that Democrats are quietly considering jailing allies of President Donald Trump if they do not comply with the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Tlaib told local Detroit news program, Deadline Detroit, that Democrats, who have issued a number of subpoenas to Trump friends, family members, and administration officials, have discussed detaining those who don’t show up to testify, the Hill reports.

“There have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like … if we did have to force someone through a court order to come before the Congressional committee,” she said.

Congress typically negotiates with potential witnesses who receive subpoenas but have concerns about testifying. Jailing those who refuse to comply with a demand for testimony would be a novel approach, which Tlaib acknowledged: “This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress.”

This isn’t the first time Tlaib has talked about jailing ideological opponents, particularly those allied with the president, who could have information as to whether Trump discussed a deal with Ukrainian officials, returning cancelled foreign aid if Ukrainian prosecutors pursued Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and investigated an energy corporation that placed Hunter Biden on its board.

Tlaib gleefully announced Democrats’ plans to jail impeachment inquiry witnesses at a town hall meeting in metropolitan Detroit last week. The Daily Wire’s Molly Prince reported on the incident last Tuesday.

“Let me tell you, this is pretty — and this is the last caucus conversation we had. Do you know this is really unprecedented? This is the worst time we’ve ever had a situation like this,” Tlaib said then. “So they’re trying to figure out — no joke — they’re trying to figure out, ‘Well, is it the D.C. police that goes and gets them?’ No, no.”

“What are we hoping? I mean, I’m not in those kinds of conversations, but I’m asking, like, you know, what happens? And they’re like, ‘Well, Rashida, we’re trying to figure it out ourselves because this is uncharted territory,’” she continued. “No, I’m telling you that they’re trying to be like, ‘Well, where are we going to put them? Where are we going to hold them?’ No, I mean those are the kinds of things they’re trying to tread carefully.”

Other Democrats, aside from Tlaib, have expressed interest in jailing non-compliant witnesses. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) told CNN on Wednesday that he would like the House Sergent-at-Arms to “march” them to the “little jail” they have in the Capitol if they refuse to honor their subpoenas.

So far, at least two White House officials, Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, have refused Congressional orders to testify and House Democrats have voted to hold both in contempt as a result. The House does have the option of jailing those who defy subpoenas but has historically avoided such a display. In this case, as in cases before, the visual of escorting administration officials to jail probably would not benefit the jailing party.

Luckily for Barr, Ross, and the rest of the White House staff — all of whom have been instructed not to respond to the impeachment inquiry — Tlaib isn’t among the legislators responsible for handling their testimony.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Rashida Tlaib: We’re Considering Jailing The President’s Allies If They Don’t Comply With Impeachment Inquiry

A private group called “We Build the Wall” says they’ve finished construction on a segment of border wall in New Mexico, closing a gap in the existing border wall themselves rather than waiting for Congress and the President to come to an agreement over how to fund the massive construction project along the United States’ southern border.

The Washington Times reports that We Build the Wall unveiled their half-mile section over the weekend.

“The 18-foot steel bollard wall is similar to the designs used by the Border Patrol, sealing off a part of the border that had been a striking gap in existing fencing,” the Times says. The gap runs from the Texas border, where it ends at the Rio Grand, up through southern New Mexico along the “lower elevations” or Mount Cristo Rey.

We Build the Wall claims the half-mile section of steel wall is the first privately constructed part of the border wall, and that their project moved faster and, at $8 million, required less funding than a similar project headed up by the federal government. The group, led by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, also says they’ve got the blessing of President Donald Trump and United States Border Customs and Protection, who were grateful for the help.

“We’re closing a gap that’s been a big headache for them,” Kobach told reporters.

The half-mile segment of border wall, the group says, closes a gap frequently used to smuggle both people and drugs. Kobach added that on a “typical night” around 100 migrants and $100,000 worth of illegal narcotics passed through the half-mile hole.

The Trump Administration was working on a plan to construct around 234 miles of steel fencing, effectively sealing off the southern border with a “border wall,” but attempts to secure funding for the project have stalled. Congress refused to agree to any funding for the border wall beyond the $1.6 billion promised in the 2018 budget, and President Donald Trump’s “national emergency” declaration — which would have detoured funding to the border wall from other Army Corps of Engineers projects — was halted by a judge pending ongoing litigation.

Funding for the border wall has also taken a backseat to a more urgent need: funding for border processing. More than 100,000 migrants are presenting themselves at the United States’ southern border per month now, and, forced by law to process anyone who requests asylum, the CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are now overwhelmed with detained immigrants.

Although the Trump administration officially ended the “catch and release” policies of the Obama administration, the federal government has reportedly — according to Politico — been shipping migrants who declare asylum to cities in Texas and California, far from the southern border, in order to relieve the stress on border patrol facilities.

“The Trump administration is flying migrants to San Diego and Del Rio, Texas, and busing them to El Centro, Calif., and Laredo, Texas, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official familiar with the plan,” Politico says. “There, they are being processed — which includes photographs, health screenings, fingerprints and background checks — before they are often released and told to return for a court hearing at a later date.”

The administration is also reportedly considering sending migrants to less populated areas in Florida and in the American southwest, in the hopes that, by personally relocating them, they’re better able to track asylum seekers while they await their day in court.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Fed Up Waiting For The Feds, Private Groups Are Building A Border Wall In New Mexico

President Donald Trump tweeted early Wednesday that he intends to send armed troops to the country’s southern border in response to an incident that occurred late last week, where Mexican officials detained two U.S. Army soldiers on the American side of the border and disarmed one of them.

The Daily Wire’s James Barrett reported on the incident Friday, which involved armed Mexican military personnel who pulled aside two U.S. Army soldiers, forcing one to hand over his sidearm. The American soldiers complied, hoping to “de-escalate” the situation. The Mexican military eventually let the two American soldiers go, and later claimed that they were “confused” over whether they were in American or Mexican territory since the incident took place south of the border wall, but not south of the actual border.

Trump explained Wednesday that he believes the incident was no accident, but rather a “diversionary tactic” meant to take focus off of drug-running activities, and accused Mexican authorities not just of ignoring the rising smuggling problem, but of actively facilitating “coyotes and cartels” conducting illegal border-jumping operations.

In response, the president says, armed National Guard troops will be deployed to the border.

“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” Trump tweeted.

He’s not messing around.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was “concilatory,” reports Bloomberg, and promised, in response to the President Trump’s concern, that the incident will be fully investigated.

“We are going to review the case, take into account what he is pointing out and assure him that we will always have a responsible attitude and respect for the government and people of the United States,” Lopez Obrador said during a press conference on Wednesday.

American troops are already at the border, deployed to assist United States Customs and Border Protection in apprehending and processing illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who turn up along the U.S.-Mexico border. They’re also handling much of the border infrastructure work, maintaining sections of the border wall and handling day-to-day administrative tasks for CBP so that CBP can focus on interdiction.

The presence of members of the military along the border has caused some consternation among left-leaning politicos, and several, including California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, have pulled their National Guard troops from service, refusing to allow members of his state’s National Guard to help enforce immigration laws.

Trump also said Wednesday that he’s considering renewing his threat to close the border with Mexico to trade — a threat that got results just weeks ago, and forced Mexico to step up interdiction efforts and scale back on the number of migrant visas they issue to members of so-called “migrant caravans.” Mexico has also reportedly stepped up arrests and deportations — just not enough to satisfy President Trump.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: Trump: We’re Sending Armed Soldiers To The Border After National Guard Incident

The top two Democrats in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), have called a time out on impeaching President Donald Trump, crushing the dreams of thousands of progressive activists and many of their House colleagues.

Pelosi announced the decision to forgo instituting impeachment proceedings on a call with House leaders Tuesday morning telling 170 Democratic Members of Congress on an insane, 90-minute conference call, that the House will instead focus on investigating the President and let the American people decide what to believe in November of 2020.

Fox News reports that Pelosi told her colleagues that “we have to save our democracy.”

“This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy. If it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the Constitution – if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go,” she added, before claiming that the “facts” simply don’t point to removing the President from office quite yet — but that further investigation could lead there.

“We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”

In a letter released ahead of the call, Pelosi got into greater detail.

“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi wrote to Democratic Members. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”

“Whether currently indictable or not,” she added, “it is clear that the president has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds.”

In other words, Pelosi plans on spending the next eighteen months directing multiple investigations into Trump, his finances, his businesses, and his White House, in the hopes that the public impact of such probes will seriously injure the President, giving Democrats an advantage in the 2020 election.

That’s less of a political move than a strategic one. All along, Democrats have assumed — rightfully — that President Trump would likely benefit from impeachment proceedings in the House, particularly if he could use those proceedings to justify his claims of a “witch hunt,” and substantiate his supporters’ fear that Democrats are simply “out to get” Trump and stalled on any real policy initiatives.

They would much rather make the election a referendum on Trump than give Trump the opportunity to present his defense.

Hoyer made a similar point to CNN’s Dana Bash Tuesday morning. “Based on what we have seen to date,” Hoyer said, “going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point. Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgement.”

For Democrats, it’s likely the right, most politically expedient choice. But that doesn’t mean progressive activists and fellow Dems weren’t left utterly bereft, on a sea of sadness, at the thought of forgoing their chance to impeach the President simply to earn the upper hand in an upcoming election.

Former Obama Administration speechwriter, Jon Favreau.

Chris Hayes:

Left-leaning commentator Judd Legum.

The list goes on and on and on.

One particularly Crooked Media journalist was so enraged, he posted an entire thread on the subject.

That’s just rough.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: Pelosi, Hoyer Say Impeachment Is Off The Table, Leaving Democrats Crushed

George Mason University says that United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will continue to teach a single summer course at the Antonin Scalia Law School, despite concerns from the student body that Kavanaugh’s presence made them feel “unsafe.”

“Even if the outcome is painful,” the school’s president, Angel Cabrera, told a group of students who gathered at a “town hall” even earlier this week, “what’s at stake is very, very important for the integrity of the university.”

The school’s provost noted that George Mason saw “no reason for university administrators to override” the law school’s decision to welcome Kavanaugh as a guest lecturer during the summer semester, and Cabrera agreed, even though the students at the town hall were left completely bewildered as to why the administration had failed to take their “mental health” into consideration when extending an invitation to Kavanaugh.

The Huffington Post reports that students organized the town hall as a protest, alongside an ad campaign and a petition, which received around 10,000 signatures. But it was to no avail.

“Even if in this particular case the outcome is one that you deeply disagree with, the process by which these decisions are made and the reason why we are so firm in defending them is actually essential to the way a university like ours operates,” Cabrera insisted to the students.

The town hall, arranged by anti-sexual assault activists on campus, quickly turned, then, from a discussion between students and administrations into an airing of grievances, with students openly condemning Kavanaugh for his own “alleged sexual assault” — a single accusation of impropriety leveled by a former high school classmate about an incident that took place decades ago, and which the FBI could find no proof of. Kavanaugh has routinely and stridently denied the allegation.

One activist even suggested the Kavanaugh contract — which has the Supreme Court justice teaching a single class for the next three summers at the school’s campus in the United Kingdom (not even in the continental U.S.) — was evidence that GMU somehow encouraged sexual violence on campus.

“How could Kavanaugh possibly be hired despite Ford’s allegations? Why is the college student that recorded women in the bathroom still on this campus?” said one protester, according to HuffPo. “A blatantly obvious response by GMU [would be one] that states that first they do not believe Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony and second do not care about the safety of their students.”

“In hiring Kavanaugh, to what extent did you consider the mental health of the survivors on campus and how that might affect them and their education?” asked another — a question which HuffPo describes as earning “snaps” from the gathered students (clapping is, it seems, now considered triggering).

Others were left simply baffled.

“Oh, my God,” one female student said aloud.

“Why?” asked another, to no one in particular.

Kavanaugh, of course, defended himself against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations in an appearance under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has now served on the Supreme Court for half a term.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: George Mason University To Protesters: Brett Kavanaugh WILL Teach Here, Sorry

UPDATE: President Donald Trump confirmed Nielsen’s departure —and Kevin McAleenan’s appointment — on Twitter late Sunday.

“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service,” Trump tweeted. “am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has been charged with managing the ongoing illegal immigration crisis, may tender her resignation to the White House during a meeting Sunday with President Donald Trump, according to a report from CBS News.

The meeting was set to take place at 5 p.m EST. CNN’s Jake Tapper reports that Nielsen’s status is still unclear as of Sunday evening.

CBS News reports that Nielsen’s possible resignation is just one of several expected in a “a massive DHS overhaul” designed to take the Department of Homeland Security in a “tougher direction,” more in line with Trump’s campaign rhetoric. CBS says the move is “orchestrated” and “engineered” by White House adviser Stephen Miller, who has encouraged Trump to take a very tough line on illegal immigration.

Tapper reports that Nielsen is at the White House to discuss how the Department of Homeland Security handles asylum requests. Rumors of Nielsen’s imminent resignation have swirled before, and Nielsen has remained in her post.

“It is believed within the administration that President Trump will be pushing for personnel changes and there are others afoot beyond the ICE director nominee who was pulled Friday,” Tapper tweeted late Sunday. CNN’s source, a “senior administration official,” “notes President Trump‘s frustration with the current asylum laws, and his desire for individuals who work for the administration to block Central American asylum seekers from entering the United States — contrary to the laws on the books that allow their entry.”

Nielsen has served as DHS Secretary since 2017, making her one of the longest serving current cabinet members. She ushered DHS through several crises, including a public outcry over a departmental policy of separating minor children from parents declaring asylum at the United States-Mexican border.

The policy, which was designed to help the United States Customs and Border Protection agency skirt an Obama-era court order mandating that full families not be kept in CBP custody more than 21 days, drew ire from both Republicans and Democrats and was quickly scrapped.

But in the ensuing months, Nielsen has been forced to contend with an endless parade of migrant caravans from Guatemala and Honduras. The thousands of migrants are apparently instructed to request asylum upon arriving at the border rather than try to cross illegaly. As a result, CPB and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement have been utterly overwhelmed, trying to process thousands upon thousands of asylum requests, and caring for thousands upon thousands of asylum seekers who are being detained while their claims are adjudicated.

The only other currently available option for CBP and ICE is to “catch-and-release,” the way the Obama Administration did, allowing asylum seekers to enter the United States temporarily, either under the care of family and friends, or wearing small tracking devices, like ankle monitors, pending a pre-scheduled asylum hearing. The majority of these asylum seekers, of course, rarely return for court dates.

At one time, President Trump threatened to close the border completely, but relented late last week after he says Mexico agreed to enforce its own immigration laws.

If Nielsen does tender her resignation, it is expected that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will replace her, at least temporarily.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: REPORT: Department Of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen To Step Down Amid ‘Massive DHS Overhaul’

Perhaps threatened by newcomer upstart Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has made major changes to his stated policy platform in recent days — moving further to the left — culminating in a tweet issued Saturday, wherein Beto committed fully to the ideas of Democratic socialism.

O’Rourke, who hadn’t articulated a national domestic policy until Saturday, appears to be further to the left than Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), two of the most leftward candidates in the race. In fact, based on his rhetoric, it seems Beto could be much closer to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) than any other of the 2020 Democratic contenders.

“The unprecedented concentration of wealth, power and privilege in the United States must be broken apart,” O’Rourke tweeted. “Opportunity must be fully shared with all. We must all have the opportunity to succeed. Together. As one country.”

That’s…rather extreme. Instead of simply redistributing wealth the way Warren, Harris and others are looking to do, with huge increases in income and corporate tax rates, O’Rourke seems to believe wealth, power, and “privilege” must be taken by force from those that hold them — and he’s oddly vague on the details.

His speeches are lofty, but his concrete policy positions seem to begin and end with an open borders immigration policy and universal background checks for gun buyers — the only two issues he’s been clear on thus far. Late last week, O’Rourke seemed to take an extreme position on abortion, claiming that he, as a male, had no right to interfere with a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy, even up until the moment of birth.

This statement represents a similar extreme viewpoint on taxation, but a few Twitter users were quick to notice that if Beto O’Rourke wants to redistribute wealth, power, and privilege, by force, he should probably start with his own.

Others pointed out that O’Rourke shouldn’t be so vague; if Communism is what O’Rourke wants, he should be clear about it.

Still others pointed out that Beto O’Rourke’s fresh new economic theory has flaws.

Ultimately, Beto O’Rourke has more than just socal media users to contend with. Opportunity abounds, thanks to a recovering economy, and there are more jobs available than there are unemployed Americans. Wages, as well, are at an all-time high. If opportunity is what you seek, America is currently in a position to provide, without breaking up concentrations of wealth, power, and privilege.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: Beto O’Rourke Goes Full Socialist, Says He Will ‘Break Apart’ American Wealth

In a shocking development Tuesday morning, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, and records of his case will be sealed, in a decision made just a month after a grand jury charged Smollett with 16 counts of felony misconduct.

Smollett, instead of facing trial, will instead forfeit his bond payment of $10,000, according to reports.

The judge granted what is called a “nolle pros,” allowing all charges to be dropped against Smollett at the request of the prosecutor’s office. According to a tip from the Chicago Police Department, the State’s Attorney’s office believes Smollett has performed “community service” and does not require an official sentence.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office confirmed that Smollett has been given leeway because of his service to the people of Chicago in a statement to reporters.

“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution,” the statement read.

The statement did not indicate Smollett had been cleared of the alleged crimes, just that his behavior had somehow balanced out the need to charge him over the incident. The “community service” referenced in the statement was, according to local news sources, done in reference to a separate case or incident.

Sources inside the Chicago Police Department tell the Daily Wire that Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is “furious” over the development.

Foxx had, initially, recused herself from the case amid concerns that she had direct contact with one of Smollett’s relatives in the lead up to issuing charges. Last week, the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago issued a formal complaint to the United States Attorney’s office, claiming that Foxx had attempted to interfere in the Smollett investigation, with the help of a Smollett relative and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff.

Smollett’s attorney was, of course, thrilled with the development.

“Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false & inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement,” his legal team said in a statement to media.

Smollett was charged with 17 separate misdemeanor and felony counts for allegedly faking a racially motivated attack on January 29th. Smollett told police that he was attacked by two unidentified men who beat him, threw a rope around his neck, and poured an unknown chemical substance on his clothes. A police investigation reportedly revealed a complex conspiracy to stage the attack. A Federal investigation, into a letter containing a “white powder,” sent to Smollett at the “Empire” studios, is still pending.

In an update to this story: the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office is now clarifying their decision to drop charges against Smollett, noting that they are not “exonerating” Smollett of any crime, but rather, are prioritizing “violent crime.”

Smollett spoke to media after his court appearance and maintained his innocence in the matter.

This is a breaking story and The Daily Wire will continue to update this piece with further developments.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: SHOCK: Controversial Chicago Prosecutor DROPS Charges Against Jussie Smollett, UPDATE: ‘Not Exonerated’

Failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doesn’t want Congress to give up on pursuing evidence of President Donald Trump colluding with Russian officials to impact the 2016 elections, even if Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report comes up empty.

In a podcast with former Daily Beast chief Tina Brown recorded earlier this week, Clinton was clear in delivering her marching orders to the Democratic Congress: keep digging.

“There is enough grounds in what has already been made public for the government, for Congress in particular, to be doing more with it,” Clinton said. “And I’m pleased that under Speaker Pelosi, the Democrats are beginning to hold hearings and try to connect some of these dots.”

She doubled down on her dismay at the Democrats’ annual Selma Unity Breakfast Sunday morning, telling a rapt audience that, “We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” and that we are living through a time when “racist and white supremacist views are lifted up in the media and the White House.”

Other attendees of the breakfast repeated Clinton’s claims of having the election “stolen” from her by overzealous FBI agents and Russian hackers.

There’s some clear fear here: Clinton’s team was pushing the “Russian collusion” narrative within 24 hours after the election, even though it was clear Trump won a commanding victory in the Electoral College, even if she narrowly won the popular vote.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s official investigation into the matter appears to be coming to a close — an Amazon placeholder for the report itself says the publication date is “March 26,” and DOJ officials have been trumpeting the report’s release for a few weeks now — and it does not appear, at least from the subpoenas issued and the charges filed, that Mueller has found much in the way of actual collusion.

Trump associates Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stone, all of whom have been indicted, were charged with crimes that took place well before the campaign, or had nothing to do with any actual communication between the Trump campaign and Russian officials about influencing the election’s outcome — and none of the charges involve President Donald Trump, or implicate the President in any wrongdoing.

Clinton seems more than a little disappointed by that development. Her last best hope is to direct Democrats, who now control the House, to keep the narrative afloat well past its point of expiration.

Fortunately, the Democrats are more than happy to comply with Clinton’s edict. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and others have opened multiple investigations into both President Donald Trump and the Trump Administration. At least 20 individuals and corporations have already received Congressional subpoenas, demanding that they appear before Congress to answer questions about Trump’s finances, his business dealings, his connections to Russia, his personal habits, and his tax returns.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: Keep Digging! Clinton Wants Congress To Pursue Russia Collusion, Even If Mueller

President Donald Trump may get only around $1.4 billion for his signature anti-illegal immigration measure — the border wall — but the White House appears to have a plan to acquire the rest of the funding necessary to build the full wall, they’ll just need to be more creative with finances to do it.

Reuters reports that the White House has tentatively agreed to support a congressional compromise budget bill that avoids a second government shutdown in as many months, even though the $1.4 billion the bill includes for Trump’s wall along the southern border falls far short of what the White Houes wanted, a cool $5.7 billion.

The White House remains concerned about the political fallout, however, from a second shutdown, even though polls show that Americans would likely blame Democrats for failing to come to a budget deal, but they also recognize that the border wall is a popular issue, with something around 2/3s of Americans supporting some form of physical barrier across the southern border.

To that end, the White House has reportedly been exploring “other options,” aside from begging Congress to fully fund the border wall on an incremental basis. Trump still hasn’t given up on potentially declaring a national emergency, which would allow the White House to expend unlimited funds to handle the project, but the administration recognizes that such an extreme option could lose them the political cache they’ve gained over the past several weeks.

According to Politico, the White House believes that Trump could “build the wall” by executive order — a strategy that walks the line between allocating funds on an emergency basis and treating the wall as a top priority, without much obvious expenditure of political capital.

“Done by executive order, this plan would allow the White House to shift money from different budgetary accounts without congressional approval, circumventing Democrats who refuse to give Trump anything like the $5.7 billion he has demanded. Nor would it require a controversial emergency declaration,” Politico reports.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Meet the Press that the hybrid budget/EO strategy is the “most likely outcome” of the border wall fight, and that the president already has access to “certain sums of money” he would need to make up the cost of the wall itself.

The trick for Trump will be deciding where to pull the money from. More than likely, the president would shift “military and disaster relief funds,” according to Business Insider. Since the money has to come from appropriations already made to certain states, Trump would likely target Democratic districts for “reappropriation.” It might trigger lawsuits, but it would be less politically costly than an emergency declaration.

The Washington Post points out that if Trump is willing to wait a few months to achieve his priorities he could also hit Democrats where it hurts — holding domestic spending hostage to his $5 billion demand.

In 10 months’ time, if Congress fails to act, then an automatic sequester will kick in that would reduce federal spending in 2020 to levels that Congress and President Barack Obama set in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress agreed to lift those spending caps for two years in 2018, increasing both defense and nondefense discretionary spending above sequester levels by $165 billion and $131 billion, respectively. But that deal runs out at the end of the year. If Congress does not lift the caps by December, then automatic $55 billion across-the-board cuts to domestic discretionary spending will take place, while defense spending will be cut by $71 billion.

Put succinctly, there will be a freeze placed on domestic spending increaseses, many of which are Democratic priorities. Trump could refuse to allow Congress to lift the spending caps, which keep Congress from spending around $55 billion, unless they agree to allow him to spend $5 billion.

That seems like a good trade-off, but both Trump and his supporters will have to exhibit a patience with the border wall they haven’t been willing to exhibit up until now.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: Budget Deal AND Executive Order? Trump Readies Plan To Fund Border Wall Without Congress

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