Trump signed legislation banning border fence in birding area

There were a number of odd things about the day that Trump signed the spending deal that gave Democrats most of what they wanted and Trump relatively little.  The oddest was Trump's threat to veto the legislation in the morning, only to sign it in the afternoon.

Something else also caught my attention:

"Nobody read it," Mr. Trump said of the gargantuan funding measure drawn up by Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate.  Echoing criticism from those who voted against it, Mr. Trump added, "It's only hours old."

So Trump not only signed a terrible spending bill, but signed one full of details he had no idea of the contents of.

This has come back to bite Trump in a number of ways, most notably in a provision that prevents Trump from building a border fence in an approximately five-mile stretch of the border in Texas because it might upset the birds.  Seriously.

In an unusual concession to the environment, Congress just exempted the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,088-acre patch of extraordinary biodiversity on the Rio Grande river, from the new sections of border wall it funded in the spending bill it passed last week[.]

Santa Ana is located at an east-west and north-south confluence of two major migratory routes of birds flying from as far north as Canada to as far south as Central America.

The abundant berries, insects, and wetlands in the refuge attract around 400 regular bird residents.  And more than 500 of the 1,000 bird species known to inhabit the United States have been sighted there.  "Its unique geography means birders who go there get the best of all worlds," Steve Holmer, vice president of policy at the American Bird Conservancy, told me.  "It's a special, special place."

With no border wall or fence, the only border in this area is the Rio Grande, which is less than 100 feet across in some places.  Illegals crossing it would do little more than get their backs wet.  This would be bad enough if this were some isolated stretch of desert, but it isn't, fairly close to McAllen, Texas.

How many things can you find incredible about this story?

1. That anyone could even pretend a border fence could prevent birds from flying across the border.

2. That the "needs" of birds have been put above national security.

3. That Republicans in Congress agreed to this provision, leaving open a five-mile space for illegals to cross in a suburban area.

4. That President Trump would sign this bill without even reading what was in it.  In this regard, Trump was very much like Nancy Pelosi, who famously said about Obamacare, "We'll have to pass it to find out what's in it."

With a go-along-get-along Republican Congress, and a president who is too lazy to read the contents of a massive spending bill before he signs it, the swamp is alive and well – the very same swamp President Trump rallied against as a candidate and now works closely with by signing bills like these.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.

There were a number of odd things about the day that Trump signed the spending deal that gave Democrats most of what they wanted and Trump relatively little.  The oddest was Trump's threat to veto the legislation in the morning, only to sign it in the afternoon.

Something else also caught my attention:

"Nobody read it," Mr. Trump said of the gargantuan funding measure drawn up by Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate.  Echoing criticism from those who voted against it, Mr. Trump added, "It's only hours old."

So Trump not only signed a terrible spending bill, but signed one full of details he had no idea of the contents of.

This has come back to bite Trump in a number of ways, most notably in a provision that prevents Trump from building a border fence in an approximately five-mile stretch of the border in Texas because it might upset the birds.  Seriously.

In an unusual concession to the environment, Congress just exempted the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,088-acre patch of extraordinary biodiversity on the Rio Grande river, from the new sections of border wall it funded in the spending bill it passed last week[.]

Santa Ana is located at an east-west and north-south confluence of two major migratory routes of birds flying from as far north as Canada to as far south as Central America.

The abundant berries, insects, and wetlands in the refuge attract around 400 regular bird residents.  And more than 500 of the 1,000 bird species known to inhabit the United States have been sighted there.  "Its unique geography means birders who go there get the best of all worlds," Steve Holmer, vice president of policy at the American Bird Conservancy, told me.  "It's a special, special place."

With no border wall or fence, the only border in this area is the Rio Grande, which is less than 100 feet across in some places.  Illegals crossing it would do little more than get their backs wet.  This would be bad enough if this were some isolated stretch of desert, but it isn't, fairly close to McAllen, Texas.

How many things can you find incredible about this story?

1. That anyone could even pretend a border fence could prevent birds from flying across the border.

2. That the "needs" of birds have been put above national security.

3. That Republicans in Congress agreed to this provision, leaving open a five-mile space for illegals to cross in a suburban area.

4. That President Trump would sign this bill without even reading what was in it.  In this regard, Trump was very much like Nancy Pelosi, who famously said about Obamacare, "We'll have to pass it to find out what's in it."

With a go-along-get-along Republican Congress, and a president who is too lazy to read the contents of a massive spending bill before he signs it, the swamp is alive and well – the very same swamp President Trump rallied against as a candidate and now works closely with by signing bills like these.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.