It was a grand affair at the Department of Homeland Security when Donald Trump signed one of his first executive orders, following through on a campaign promise and ordering a wall between Mexico and the United States. But like many of Trump’s executive orders, it was one that did not have a strategy or action plan behind it. As such, it is an executive order that may go no further than the piece of paper it is printed on. Donald Trump’s Mexico wall order is now being met by resistance from his own party, reports CNN.
CNN reports that many House Republicans aren’t climbing aboard the Mexico wall plan, particularly since there isn’t a real plan behind the executive order, other than just the idea to build the wall itself. Key reasons that top Republicans are citing as their reluctance to be on board with the wall plan are budgetary measures, lack of budgetary agendas, and the notion that Trump’s wall may not actually do what he thinks it will do.
Trump’s Mexico wall idea is one he thinks will be an immigration and crime deterrent. However, top Republicans in the House aren’t so sure.
CNN says that a “growing number” of House Republicans might just say no to the wall. Some already are, including Senator John McCain.
The cost of the wall, as well as the actual feasibility and viability of such an extensive project, are among the biggest reasons the GOP in the House of Representatives have concerns. Many have “bluntly told” CNN that they will vote against Trump’s wall and not agree to offset any spending cuts to pay for the wall.
Who will pay for the wall has been a source of contention about the wall itself since Donald Trump first breathed life into the idea during the election campaign. But the idea has not gone any further than that, even after the recent executive order on the subject.
Trump then said Mexico will pay for the wall, but Mexico said they won’t. After creating the executive order on the wall once he took office and after saying he wouldn’t raise taxes, Trump then said he planned to create a 20 percent tax hike on Mexican imports to pay for the wall. Mexico has long been an opponent of Donald Trump’s immigration ideas.
That would mean Americans would pay for the wall twice. Congress would have to foot the bill the first time, and then after the proposed tax hike, Americans would pay for Trump’s wall again through increased prices on Mexican imports. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina took this idea and ran with it to send the message to his constituents that they would ultimately end up paying for the wall right where it hurts: increased costs to alcohol. Senator Graham sent the message to his state that hiking up the cost of alcohol for a wall would be “mucho sad.”
Mexico has been very vocal about being part of the resistance against Trump’s immigration agenda, and Trump’s wall and who plans to pay for it. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says she’s not voting for a bill that doesn’t come with a financial plan.
She told CNN, “If you’re going to spend that kind of money, you’re going to have to show me where you’re going to get that money. I don’t see how you can get a bill like that through Congress without offsets. I don’t see how that’s possible.”
The actual cost of the wall is undetermined, but CNN reports that Trump wants his wall to start within the next few months. That does not seem feasible at this time. House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have estimated the cost at approximately $12 billion to $15 billion dollars. Speaker Ryan seems on board with the idea of Trump’s wall, saying it is a matter of “national security.”
But Senator John Cornyn of Texas, touted the “number two” Republican in the upper chamber, disagrees.
He said, “I have concerns about spending un-offset money which adds to the debt, period. I don’t think we’re just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it, and through it.”
Senator John McCain agrees, saying that the wall would also involve upgrades to technology, human resources, and drones. This would add to the overall cost of construction. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, another Republican, has also said that he’s open to voting for the wall as long as it is not offset by spending cuts.
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee says that the national debt is a bigger problem than the wall.
“I don’t want to see any spending, additional spending on anything done that is not paid for. We have a huge fiscal problem right now.”
At a GOP retreat last week in Philadelphia, Senator Corker said that when he left, he was concerned because all the GOP was talking about was what to spend money on here, there, and everywhere, while also talking about lowering taxes which in effect lowers the revenue to the government. He called that a “recipe for disaster.”
Senator Lankford of Oklahoma agrees, saying that asking Mexico to pay for it would be wrong as well and that the United States should be responsible for their own national security costs.
Donald Trump has already met “the resistance” over his wall through the social movement known as “The Resistance” that is against the idea of closing America’s borders. He’s now facing resistance from his own party because he does not have a sound plan to pay for the Trump wall, and the feasibility of the project itself does not appear to be in place.
Right now, the Trump wall is still just an idea, and without a sound financial and strategic plan, with this much resistance already in the House and across the country, that’s all it will remain.
[Feature Image by Chip Somodevilla/AP Images]