Trump’s wall fight shifts to 2020 budget

Published March 16, 2019, 12:34 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

EDIT16The United States House of Representatives, by a vote of   245-82 last February 26,  approved  legislation to terminate President  Donald  Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the US-Mexico  border.  Congress  had  earlier refused  to approve $5.7 billion Trump  wanted to build the wall to keep out Latin American immigrants. Trump’s  counter-move  was to declare an emergency that  would allow him  to divert  funds  already  in  the budget.

Trump hoped to divert   $3.6 billion  for   Pentagon construction projects and  other defense funds to his wall.  But congressmen, both Democrats  and Trump’s own Republicans,  opposed  the fund diversion  move  as it challenged  the constitutional principle  that  it is Congress alone that decides where public funds are  to be spent.

Frustrated anew by Congress’ action  ending  his  declaration  of  an emergency,  President Trump last week moved on  to a new front  in his fight. He  announced  a   budget for next year, 2020, containing  $8.6 billion  for his wall.

This is  the  latest  chapter  of  the saga  of the border wall which President Trump  first announced as a  campaign  issue in the presidential election of 2016. The wall is part  of  his  general anti-immigration  policies.

The American president  today is in the middle of so many issues and controversies, including  possible election  offenses with  unreported payments  to a woman to keep her quiet, alleged collusion  between his  campaign  staff  and the Russians,  alleged  obstruction of justice  in  these probes.

Now, he may  be  facing  impeachment   for obstruction  of  justice in  the ongoing probe of his poll campaign,  particularly in relation to Russian  involvement.  But he carries  on  his unrelenting  fight for his  wall,   which may well become the hallmark of his administration.

We continue to follow this fight  in  hopes that we will learn from this experience of our  former  colonial mentor which  bequeathed  to us the same  system  of  democratic government  that now have in our country.

 We  now  have  our own controversy in Congress  over our reenacted national  budget,  which remains  undecided  to this day.  But nothing is quite as perplexing  as  the wall issue that has  so  fiercely  divided the American people.