The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday which would provide $790 billion for defense, as well as preliminary funding for Donald Trump’s oft-promised border wall.
If approved by the Senate, the spending package would head to the Pentagon for appropriation.
Most of the money is earmarked for national-defense purposes. The lion’s share of the $790 billion would be used to fund defense and veterans’ programs, as well as congressional operations and the Department of Energy.
A very small percentage of the grand total is intended to serve as a sort of ‘down payment’ for Donald Trump’s much-touted wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The $1.6 billion reserved for enhancing barriers and fortifications along America’s southern border allowed the House to fully meet President Trump’s budget requests, according to The Hill.
However, the chances of the package being passed in its current form are next to none.
Spending bills, wrote Politico, require Democratic votes to pass out from the upper chamber.
Liberal senators would doubtlessly reject any request to appropriate funds for a proposed border wall.
The issue of improving security along and beyond the Rio Grande has proved contentious, especially in the wake of the current administration’s harsh stance on immigration.
Numerous experts have criticized the idea of building a larger and more concrete wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, with some saying the effect wouldn’t likely warrant the expense.
The controversy hasn’t done much to quell the President’s enthusiasm for the project, though. Donald Trump boasted of a plan to power and pay for the barrier with solar energy.
Speaking at an Iowa rally in late June, he claimed the idea as his own, saying, “Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea.”
Displaying a keen knack for the geography of climate, Trump explained, “We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good, right?”
President Trump still hasn’t dismissed the idea of Mexico footing the bill for his arguably egregious project.
But – no matter how hot the weather in Texas or Tamaulipas may be – what’s clear is that global opinion on the matter is nothing short of frosty.
A Pew Research Poll released Thursday showed that Trump’s proposed border wall is among his least popular policies worldwide. While Frenchmen and Slovakians alike frown at American withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Canadians, Colombians, and Koreans all believe a barrier with Mexico is Trump’s worst idea to date.
The cynicism is shared by Democrats and Independents stateside. 91% and 68%, respectively, disapprove of the idea, although only 21% of Republicans polled were less than keen.
Canucks need not fear for the other member of NAFTA, as there’s little hope of a border wall budget passing out from the Senate unscathed.