Obama building walls for President-Elect Trump

Obama building walls for President-Elect Trump

Editor: Philip Ragner | Tactical Investor

Obama building walls

In his latest effort to wrestle congressional Democrats into relinquishing funding for his border wall, President Donald Trump has attempted to use Democrats’ past support for border legislation against them.

“Senator Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats,” Trump said during his controversial national address on Tuesday night. “They changed their mind only after I was elected president.”

Though Trump often accuses Democrats of supporting “open borders,” part of his team’s rhetorical gambit during the shutdown battle has been to allude to Democrats’ historical support for increased security and physical barriers on the southern border. The argument is that Democrats, once in favor of border barriers, are now only opposing the wall in an attempt to embarrass the president.

“We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against [the wall]. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Senator Obama voted for it. Senator Schumer voted for it. Senator Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in 2017.

Both Mulvaney and Trump are alluding to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, a bill pushed by the Bush administration that provided $1.4 billion for 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. In 2006, Schumer, along with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (who were then senators from Illinois and New York, respectively) voted . Full Story

Throughout the 2016 election, Donald Trump campaigned for president on the promise that he would build a wall along the southern border. Six weeks after his election in November 2016, Congress overwhelmingly passed a statute—codified as 10 U.S.C § 284—that authorized the secretary of defence to support the “construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States.” On Dec. 23, 2016, a month before leaving office, President Obama signed the 973-page bill into law without any objection to this provision.

On Feb. 15, the Trump administration invoked this express statutory delegation of authority to do what the statute says: “construct … fences … across international boundaries of the United States.” Specifically, the president identified up to $2.5 billion under the Department of Defense funds that were designated for counterdrug activities. This provision does not turn on the declaration of a national emergency pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 2808, which the president also invoked in a proclamation issued the same day.

Critically, the White House stated that “these funding sources will be used sequentially and as needed.” The “emergency” funds may not be tapped until the other, less controversial funds are depleted. Plaintiffs may not have the standing to challenge the diversion of “emergency” funds until those funds are in fact allocated. Through § 284, both Houses of Congress willingly gave President Trump a path to build at least part of the wall. Full Story

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