What used to be a “big beautiful wall” is now “steel slats” after President Donald Trump spent time convincing top Republicans on Thursday to change the name of the border wall in order to appeal to Democrats. According to Business Insider, the president believes that the contentious wall would better be marketed as more of a see-through barrier and could even win over progressive lawmakers if they see it as funding for a fence rather than a wall.
The border wall was a key component of Donald Trump’s campaign promises, but it has proven to be a roadblock for Democrats, who refuse to pass a government funding bill that includes any money to build a wall. This week, the Senate passed a bill that would keep the government funded through the first week of February, but kicked the issue of wall funding to a later date. Initially, it seemed as though the House and the president would pass the bill, but Trump changed his mind and announced that he would only sign a funding bill that included money for the wall.
In a meeting about the funding bill on Thursday, Trump spoke with House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for nearly ten minutes to convince them to change the label on the barrier from a wall to a fence because changing the name would give Democrats in Congress “an out” to vote for the $5 billion in funding that the president wants.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has tried to re-brand the wall. On Tuesday, he tweeted that Democrats have been clear in not wanting a wall, but what he actually wants to build is an artistic fence.
“The Democrats, are saying loud and clear that they do not want to build a Concrete Wall – but we are not building a Concrete Wall, we are building artistically designed steel slats, so that you can easily see through it,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
In a second tweet, he added that the fence “will be beautiful and, at the same time, give our Country the security that our citizens deserve.”
“It will go up fast and save us BILLIONS of dollars a month once completed!” he wrote.
The Democrats, are saying loud and clear that they do not want to build a Concrete Wall - but we are not building a Concrete Wall, we are building artistically designed steel slats, so that you can easily see through it....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
With Trump now saying "STEEL SLATS!" instead of wall, it makes me wonder...— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 21, 2018
1. Will he buy the steel from China, like he did for his own buildings through a front company?
...or 2. Which steel company has he invested his money in to profit off of this?https://t.co/usg8PeN2mE
During a separate bill signing on Friday, Trump again pushed his artistic fence concept, saying that he didn’t care what people wanted to call the barrier, but that he was going to make sure it happened.
“You can name it anything you want,” he said.
So far, the tactic doesn’t seem to be working. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Mark Pocan, a Democratic congressman from Wisconsin, responded that if Trump wants steel slats – “aka jail cell bars” – he is on his way to obtaining some of his own.