Caught up as we all were in the March for Our Lives on Saturday and the Stormy Daniels' interview on Sunday, you may have missed the shellacking the man who occupies the White House took on Friday too.
In his boastful mode on Friday morning, Trump tweeted this.
He asked the Congress for $10 billion for his “big, beautiful" wall.
Friday afternoon, he capitulated, caved ... big time. Not only did he sign a budget bill that gave the Democratic members of Congress multiple victories, but he signed a bill that forbade the use of its funds for any permanent border wall.
Lying in his usual way, on Sunday he tweeted, “Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming."
But in reality, there's no funding for The Wall in the bill — not The Wall that Trump described during his campaign which he promised Mexico would pay for, nor anything like the 30-foot tall prototypes that Trump visited in California.
Any additional security given in the bill on Friday is limited to the same model of fencing and levees currently used along the border.
According to Business Insider , the bill contains three separate outlays for changes to physical border barriers:
- $251 million for 14 miles of new secondary fencing along the border in the San Diego sector.
- $445 million to replace existing fencing. According to congressional aides, this should refurbish 45 miles worth of barriers.
- $641 million for 33 miles of new fencing and levees in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
As Senator John Cornyn, Senator from Texas and Republican Minority Whip, said, "I personally believe that a lot of the money is going to be used to repair and replace existing fencing."
According to a Washington Post article, entitled Why is Trump raging about the budget? Because Democrats got most of what they wanted. The Republicans not only voted to increase the deficit on Friday but they did so by funding programs Democrats wanted.
No DACA hasn't been extended ...yet, but here is the Wapo account of some of the ways Democrats won out in this bill, despite being in the minority in both houses:
- $1.6 billion for border fencing, but with the specification that it only apply to existing designs, meaning no wall.
- The Fix NICS Act, which modestly improves the existing gun background-check system, plus a provision instructing the Centers for Disease Control that it is free to conduct research on gun violence. Such research was effectively stopped in 1996.
- A slight increase to the IRS budget. While not nearlywhat the agency needs, especially given the challenge of implementing the new tax law, at least it doesn't continue the long-standing GOP effort to starve the IRS of funds and make enforcement a joke.
- $380 million in assistance to states to improve the security of their election systems, and $300 million to the FBI to combat Russian hacking of those systems.
- No repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which prevents churches from endorsing candidates and acting as political organizations. President Trump has advocated that the amendment be repealed.
- A bar on employers such as restaurants keeping any portion of workers' tips. The Trump Labor Department had proposed allowing tip "pooling," including letting the boss control and potentially take workers' tips.
- Increases for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. Trump had proposed eliminating them entirely.
- No cuts to the EPA (Trump had proposed cutting the agency's budget by a third) and an increase in funding for clean energy research through ARPA-E, which Trump had proposed eliminating entirely.
- Increased funding for affordable housing.
- Increased education funding, along with what nearly everyone is describing as a complete rejection of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos's agenda.
- Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health.
- A doubling of child-care funding for low-income families.
- No defunding of sanctuary cities or Planned Parenthood"
Let me just repeat this now - Why is Trump raging about the budget? Because Democrats got most of what they wanted.
Oh, about his final tweet into cyberspace, after this real life beating:
even #DumbDonald, and whatever advisors even still exist in the White House, probably know, the “Line item" was found unconstitutional by SCOTUS in 1998.
Yesterday, he started ranting that he would find the money for his wall in the Military's budget.
So much for caring about Deficits. So much for caring about Defense.
March 26, 2018
Post Script. Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998), is the lcase in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the line-item veto violated the Presentment Clause of the United States Constitution.