Things That Matter

Trump Is Promising A Government Shutdown If He Doesn’t Get His Border Wall Funding

President Donald Trump has been demanding border wall funding since his presidential campaign. Now, he is threatening another government shut down if he doesn’t get the funding he wants. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi jabbed with President Trump asking him if the possibility of a shutdown is an option if no legislative work towards border wall funding is pushed through. The President didn’t hesitate to say he would be “proud” to shut down parts of the government if it results in a border wall.

Congress is looking at another partial government shutdown deadline on December 21, and the hold-up is over Trump’s southern border wall.

President Trump wants $5 billion in funding for the wall but Democrats don’t want to budge on the $1.3 billion currently being allocated for border security funding. The proposed plan Pelosi and Schumer presented to the president didn’t include the $5 billion Trump has requested. Pelosi asserted that the House couldn’t pass any bill which includes $5 billion for border wall funding. This could all be leading to a showdown between Democrats and President Trump who may be forced to compromise a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

“I will be the one to shut it down,” Trump said to reporters. “I will take the mantle of shutting it down … I am proud to shut down the government for border security.”

This isn’t the first time the President has threatened a government shutdown over funding for his long-promised border wall, a signature campaign issue. He previously made statements claiming that “Mexico will pay for the wall,” but recently conceded that isn’t necessarily the case anymore.

According to a recent national poll, Americans would prefer to see the president compromise a deal to prevent a shutdown.

CREDIT: CREDIT: NPR

The poll, conducted by NPR, shows the majority of Americans — 57 percent to 36 percent — think the president should compromise on the wall to avoid a government shutdown. Most Americans oppose having a government shutdown over a wall and more than two-thirds (69 percent) don’t believe building a wall should even be a concern for Congress.

Irene Bloemraad, an immigration expert at UC Berkeley, says the average American could care less about a wall let alone spending $5 billion on it. She says social sciences evidence shows there’s no need for a wall and having one wouldn’t do much in terms of stopping people from entering the U.S.

“You can make the argument that using 5 billion to build a wall is a waste of money. This isn’t a conservative or progressive issue, it’s an American issue that either side can argue a better use for that money,” Bloemraad said. “Democrats can argue they money should be spent on education and Republicans on tax cuts, either way there’s more important needs right now.”

So why does President Trump keep calling for a wall if most Americans don’t want it and there isn’t the money for it?

The difference in the $1.3 billion in wall funding President Trump already has and the $5 billion in funding he’s asking for is $3.7 billion, which is nothing in the context of the $4 trillion federal budget. According to Vox, the $5 billion in funding Trump is asking for isn’t enough for a border wall. Estimates of the entire wall cost have ranged from $20 billion to $70 billion. That would mean an even bigger question mark on the reality of a border wall ever happening.

Louis DeSipio, a professor of political science at University of California, Irvine, says this all posturing by the President to please his base and make the border wall a hot topic issue heading into next week. DeSipio notes the President has done this before in his Presidency including right before the midterm elections last month.

“It a bunch of posturing by the President and it’s nothing new. He’s done it throughout his term and is using the border wall as a crutch against Democrats to make it look like they don’t want a safe border,” DeSipio said. ” But that can’t be anymore further from the truth.”

The big question next is will all this lead to a compromise between Democrats and the President to avoid a government shutdown?

With less than two weeks to go until the current round of government funding is set to expire, a deal is necessary to avoid a government shutdown. But who has the leverage here, Democrats or President Trump? Neither, according to DeSipio, who says Republicans have a lot of power here since they still have the majority in the House and Senate until the new year begins. He says that the president doesn’t have all the Republican votes yet and some don’t support that much spending on the wall, so in order to pass a new spending bill, he’d need all of their votes.

“This all might go down to the wire in terms of timing but there’s a reason why the President is doing this right now,” DiSipio says. “That’s because if there is a government shutdown the most ideal time would be during the holidays when not many government people are working.”

Bloemraad and DeSipio both agree that a compromise will happen to avoid a shutdown and that means Democrats supporting some funding for more fencing and border repairing but nothing serious like a border wall.

“The issue of immigration is the most consistent issue Trump has run on but it’s also been largely ineffective and the nation is very divided on this,” Bloemraad says. “Having a divided House of Representatives and Senate means trouble for the President and the border wall might have to be put on hold.”


READ: Religious Leaders Gathered At The Border And Confronted Agents For #LoveKnowsNoBorders

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on behalf of the Trump administration. Since then hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have lived in uncertainty. President Donald Trump tried to rewrite history at his town hall event Oct. 15.

President Donald Trump blamed the end of DACA on Covid during his town hall.

The truth is that President Trump’s administration attempted to end DACA in 2017. Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the attorney general at the time and made the announcement in a press conference. Since then, the Trump administration has continued to advance a lawsuit to terminate the program. DACA allows for hundreds of thousands of adults to work and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Long before Covid, the Trump administration was told to resume DACA as intended.

Instead, the Trump administration has violated federal orders and continued to restrict DACA and those who can apply. The Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against DACA meaning that the lower court’s ruling stood. The ruling was that the Trump administration had to reinstate the program in full. However, the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case allowing for the administration to come back.

President Trump also claimed that DACA recipients and Dreamers are not that same.

Another falsehood by the president at the town hall. DACA recipients are indeed Dreamers. The term Dreamers does apply to DACA recipients who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The legislation would legally enshrine the protections of DACA and was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in 2001. Over the course of 19 years, the piece of legislation has not moved despite the overwhelming support from the American public.

People watching the town hall were quick to call out President Trump.

People are not letting President Trump get away with trying to rewrite history about DACA. His administration is the one trying to strip DACA recipients of their protections. At one point, President Trump tried using DACA recipients as political pawns in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall.

Voters are calling on other voters to help protect the program in November.

The two nominees have very different DACA plans. President Trump has and will continue to try to take away the protections from DACA recipients. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to offer citizenship to DACA recipients, something American voters support. DACA is a wildly popular program that gives some of the most vulnerable people in our society a chance to live a normal life.

READ: The Trump Administration Has Officially Rescinded DACA. Here’s What You Need To Know.

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Puerto Rico’s Governor Endorses President Trump’s Reelection

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Puerto Rico’s Governor Endorses President Trump’s Reelection

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP via Getty Images

The 2020 election is heating up as Nov. 3 draws closer. Both Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are seeking every endorsement possible and Puerto Rico’s governor just gave hers. Her endorsement has stunned Puerto Ricans and political pundits alike.

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced endorsed President Donald Trump in his reelection.

Vázquez Garced was appointed as governor in 2019 following a tumultuous time on the island. Politically, Puerto Rico has recently undergone a series of protests because of political corruption and a chat scandal involving then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Gov. Rosselló attempted to appoint his own successor before resigning following growing protest but the Puerto Rico Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional. Vázquez Garced was then appointed as governor. The Puerto Rican people then turned their protests against Rosselló to be against Vázquez Garced. #WandaRenuncia began trending when Rosselló announced his resignation.

The endorsement stunned people who just don’t understand why that endorsement happened.

“I ask all Puerto Ricans who are listening to go vote,” the governor said in an interview on Telemundo. “They have to go to vote, exercise their right to vote and evaluate who has represented being a person who thinks about Puerto Ricans and their needs at the most difficult moment. It is Donald Trump.”

The endorsement came as a surprise for people following President Trump’s disastrous response after Hurricane Maria. The president spent months denying the death count of the natural disaster and fought against aid to the island. It was during this time that the viral video of him throwing paper towels into a crowd of people hit Twitter sparking outrage among the Puerto Rican people.

Puerto Ricans really want people to remember that Vázquez Garced was not elected by the Puerto Rican people.

Vázquez Garced was supposed to accompany President Trump to a campaign event in Central Florida on Friday. Covid put a pause on that so the governor took time during an interview with Telemundo to offer her endorsement of President Trump.

Recently, President Trump approved a $13 billion relief package for Puerto Rico. The sudden move has been seen as political in an effort to get support from Puerto Ricans who fled the island for Florida because of the failed response in 2017. The president denies it saying he had been working on the package for “a long time.”

The endorsement has a very pointed purpose.

Puerto Ricans on the island, while American citizens, are not allowed to vote in the presidential election. However, the Puerto Ricans who left the island following a series of natural disaster are allowed if they are on the mainland.

Florida is one state that a lot of Puerto Ricans have landed and is a key state for either party to win the election. Political pundits have pointed to the Trump administration suddenly advancing things like the relief package as a way to secure the Puerto Rican vote.

Puerto Ricans are telling voters to listen to Puerto Ricans, not the governor of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans are not fans of President Trump. The Hurricane Maria response alone sank the president’s approval ratings with Puerto Ricans. In a recent poll, 52 percent of people in Puerto Rico rated President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria as poor. Meanwhile, 15 percent of Puerto Ricans said his response was “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.”

READ: Political Chaos Returns To Puerto Rico As The Unelected Governor Faces Investigations And Calls For Her Resignation

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