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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The US, Colombia Deny Any Involvement In What Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Calls Failed Invasion

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The US, Colombia Deny Any Involvement In What Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Calls Failed Invasion

nicolasmaduro / Instagram

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused both the U.S. and Colombian governments of trying to stage an invasion. President Maduro accused made the accusations towards the beginning of May when two Americans were arrested with a group of other people.

Both the U.S. and Colombia have denied any report of an attempted coup on Venezuela.

On May 3, a group of Venezuelan rebels and two Americans allegedly began a coup attempt in Venezuela. They began on the northern tip of the country and reportedly had plans to take control of Maracaibo and Caracas. They were all immediately captured and 8 Venezuelans in the group were killed during the conflict.

According to the Daily Mail, Jordan Goudreau, 43, was involved with the coup and told a close friend about it. It is alleged that Goudreau bragged about having a contract with the U.S. government to protect oil interests in Venezuela.

The mercenaries behind the attempted coup claim to have done security for a President Trump rally in 2018.

Goudreau, who has been described as the mastermind of the coup attempt, owns the security company Silvercorp. An old Instagram post shows the Florida-based company running security for a Trump rally back in 2018. The company has since deleted the Instagram posts after news broke about their failed attempt to train Venezuelan rebels and capture the South American country.

“He came out to Colorado,” Drew White, Goudreau’s former business partner told Daily Mail. “He said he had a deal from the State Department to protect oil interests in Venezuela. He was saying it was handed to him directly. He was saying it was directed and passed down by the State Department, that it was a legitimate operation and they also had some private funding backing, which isn’t unusual with these kinds of things. Essentially he was like, ‘We’re going to topple Maduro.’ At that point I was like, ‘This doesn’t seem legitimate” and we broke ways.”

Goudreau claims that the Trump administration and Venezuelan resistance leader Juan Guaidó green-lit the operation.

The U.S. and Venezuela have had a contentious relationship over the past few years. The political unrest in Venezuela has continued to draw criticism from the international community as Venezuelans have protested for a new leader. When the relationship with Trump soured, Maduro began to claim that the U.S. was attempting to overthrow the government.

Both the U.S. and Colombian governments have denied any involvement in the alleged coup.

Reports state that the group of men attempting to topple the Venezuelan government did nothing to hide their plan. The security group was tweeting their plans to the open-world alerting anyone with a Twitter account to their plans. SilverCorp USA has since deleted their Twitter account. Experts and officials have decisively denied any collaboration between the mercenaries and the two governments.

“There is no way that I can see any kind of U.S. involvement,” Fernando Cutz, who served as a Latin America adviser on the National Security Council under both Obama and Trump, told the Huffington Post. “There were no logistics, the numbers were a joke, they clearly didn’t have any intel. A group of high schoolers would have done a better job.”

Social media has spent time dragging the security company over its failed coup attempt.

There is still a lot of speculation swirling around the “coup.” However, Goudreau’s friend is pretty sure that the missions was not as official as Goudreau claims.

“He’s a good man,” White told Daily Mail. “He was the best man at my wedding. We have a lot of history together and it never seemed like he was lying like that. But once you started looking at it, none of it really added up. He kept asking to meet with people for funding. But typically with a State Department contract, the funding is shored up. You might have some private entities helping here and there. But it was pretty obvious that it was not a state-sanctioned activity.”

READ: Venezuela’s President Maduro And Opposition Leader Guaidó Are Allegedly In Secret Talks And The World Wants To Know The Details

Trump Wants To Spend $500 Million To Paint His Border Wall Black While The Pandemic Leaves Millions Unemployed

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Trump Wants To Spend $500 Million To Paint His Border Wall Black While The Pandemic Leaves Millions Unemployed

Gilbert Smith / Getty

Despite unprecedented economic losses that have left more than 30 million Americans without work and millions more working in unsafe conditions, Trump has his own priorities.

Since launching his presidential campaign in 2016 on the promise of building a glorious border wall along the U.S. – Mexico border, Trump has been obsessed with realizing this massive waste of tax payer dollars. Now he is renewing calls for the wall to be painted black and in what can simply be described as a cruel and wasteful move.

Donald Trump orders his border wall to be painted black to deter more migrants during the summer when it would be too hot to touch.

President Donald Trump has requested the border wall, one of his signature campaign promises, be painted black, a proposal that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new report. 

The Washington Post reported that Trump had ordered the border wall to be painted black in order to make it look more imposing and to make it too hot to touch during the summer. Quoting anonymous administration officials, the Post reported Trump told his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner to assess cost estimates for the wall painting plan. 

According to estimates, the cost of painting the wall black would range from $500 million for acrylic paint to over $3 billion for a “powder coating” on the wall.

The Democratic National Committee slammed the report, saying Trump “would rather let states go bankrupt than provide them more money to pay their teachers, police officers and firefighters, and fund services for the poor and elderly.”

He is reiterating the call for a black border wall despite a global health pandemic that has left millions infected and millions more without jobs.

As the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 rises to nearly 80,000 and the economy is in shambles, Trump has decided the border wall’s paint job is far more important. The president is insisting that the barrier’s steel slats be painted black, despite officials’ efforts to talk him out of it and $500 million in additional costs that the cosmetic feature is expected to add to the project’s already expensive price tag.

“POTUS has changed his mind and now wants the fence painted,” an official involved in the construction of the wall told the Post. “We are modifying contracts to add.”

It may seem odd to be fixated on the color of his border wall, given the hefty additional costs painting it black would impose on the project and the pandemic currently ravaging the country under his watch—but Trump at least has a good reason. According to the Post, he’s willing to further inflate the wall budget because he believes painting it black would “enhance its forbidding appearance” and “leave the steel too hot to touch during summer months.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has floated painting the border wall black, but officials thought they had talked him out of it last fall.

Reports have emerged in the past over Trump’s obsession with micromanaging the physical appearance of his famed border wall. In May 2019, a Post report revealed Trump had floated painting the ‘slats’ of the border wall a ‘flat black’ so the metal would absorb more heat from the sun and make it harder for people to scale.

Trump also said he wanted the border barrier to include metal spikes at the top that will cut climbers’ hands.

Fisher Sand and Gravel, a South Dakota-based company already being considered for a $400 million contract to build new portions of wall in Arizona, were consulted to provide estimates for painting. They provided the $500 million – $3 billion estimates for painting the structure’s 30-foot steel bollards depending on the option of paint, which the White House has not yet chosen.

Trump has renewed his call for the border wall and blamed migration on the Coronavirus pandemic – even though that’s 100% fake news.

In recent weeks, Trump has increased attention on his border wall project – labeling it a way to protect the country from the Coronavirus pandemic. According to his administration, the structure and the government’s cruel immigration policy have acted as a defense against coronavirus spreading into the U.S. from other countries.  

‘Mexico is sadly experiencing very big CoronaVirus problems, and now California, get this, doesn’t want people coming over the Southern Border. A Classic!’ Trump tweeted Tuesday.

‘They are sooo lucky that I am their President,’ he gloated. ‘Border is very tight and the Wall is rapidly being built!’

However, the president seems to be ignoring the fact that the U.S. in the number one country in the world when it comes to Coronavirus infections and deaths. In fact, at the beginning of the global pandemic, Mexico had considered closing its border with the U.S. to prevent the spread of the disease from the U.S. into Mexico.