In yet another demonstration proving that President Donald Trump does not care about compromise, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Tuesday that Trump will likely sign the funding bill and declare a national emergency anyway despite House Democrats agreeing to give him some money for his border barrier.
On Monday night, Democrats and Republicans reached a tentative deal that would prevent another government shutdown even though it had been feared that talks had broken down.
Democrats agreed to give Trump $1.4 billion to build an addition 50 miles of border fencing and will drop their demand of capping the number of beds at ICE facilities in a move that would have forced agents to focus on detaining violent criminals instead of persecuting immigrants who have never committed a crime.
So, that should be agreeable to Trump, right? After all, he’s getting wall money and Democrats are basically getting nothing in return.
As it turns out, Graham expects Trump to take the deal but subvert Congress by declaring a national emergency anyway so he can steal money from various departments to cover the remaining $4 billion he has been demanding.
According to Politico reporter Eliza Collins:
.@LindseyGrahamSC says even if Trump signs the deal, he expects him to both declare a national emergency and try to find money elsewhere in order to bridge the gap between $1.375 in the Congressional deal and the $5.7 billion he’s demanded for his wall.
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) February 12, 2019
CNN correspondent Manu Raju reported that Graham also claims Trump will sign the bill if he can “reprogram” money to use it to build steel barriers despite the fact that most Americans oppose building more border barriers.
Lindsey Graham, who has yet to speak to Trump on spending deal, says president should accept it if it shows he can reprogram money with respect to the detention beds AND if he can use the money to build steel barriers. GOP appropriators say he can
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 12, 2019
Trump’s intention to declare a national emergency anyway basically makes this deal irrelevant. It’s a betrayal of Congress and violates the legislative branch’s power of the purse. Only Congress can say what tax dollars can be spent on, but Trump is ignoring the law.
This blatant disregard for the Constitution and disrespect for Congress should result in Democrats stepping away from the deal. It’s clear that Trump never had any intention of negotiating in good faith and that he planned on declaring a national emergency no matter what kind of deal both parties reached. Democrats must insist that Republicans join them in preventing this power grab. Unless Trump backs down, he gets nothing.
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