New budget allocates no money for border wall for two years

In addition to being a an enormously bloated deficit-busting spending bill, the two-year budget that President Trump signed allocates zero dollars for construction of a border wall for the next two years.  So unless Mexico suddenly writes us a check, there will be not an inch constructed of a new border wall three full years into President Trump's term of office.

Some may say it doesn't matter because Trump will get funding for a border wall when he makes a deal with Democrats on "DREAMers" (along with 1.1 million of their "lazy friends").  But Trump would have been in a much better position to demand border wall funding in the budget.  The budget, after all, had to pass.  The grand compromise concerning the "DREAMers" does not.  There is a real chance that there will be no agreement with Democrats.  In that case, Trump will have no chance to seek out border wall funding until the next budget, in his last year in office (which really will be his last year in office if he does not build a wall).

That's why Trump should have threatened to veto (and vetoed if necessary) the budget until he got funding for a border wall.  Enough Republicans in the House would have prevented an override of his veto, and eventually, he probably would have gotten the funding, or at least some of it.

Now Trump's only way to get funding for the border wall is to give Democrats enough to make them happy.  What will that require?  Probably amnesty and citizenship for ten million or more illegal aliens.  That's a mighty steep price to pay for a border wall.  But because Trump didn't insist on funding the wall in the budget, he has no other options.  He will have to agree to all the Democrats' demands or get nothing.  In any event, it is far from certain that Democrats will ever agree to fund the wall under any circumstances.

When Trump last year signed a spending bill for his first year in office that gave no money for the wall, Trump-supporters said it was still early, still the first year of his administration.  Now he has just signed another budget bill for two more years, again without a penny for his highest priority.

Either Trump is a terrible negotiator or he is not really interested in having a border wall.

Remember when Ronald Reagan wanted to fund the freedom fighters in Nicaragua, but the Democratic House of Representatives didn't?  Reagan didn't give up; he engaged in hard-nosed negotiating tactics and got what he wanted, from hard-left Democrats led by the neo-socialist Tip O'Neill.  Trump isn't even willing to go toe to toe with Congress when it's controlled by his own party.  When will we get to see Trump actually fighting for something?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

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