It was practically a joke by the end of the election. In a campaign full of ridiculousness, Trump’s proposed wall between Mexico and America was one of his more bonkers ideas. And the thought that he’d convince the Mexican government to pay for it was just the icing on the crazy cake.
Well, turns out it was all a tall tale. Trump’s people have signaled to Congress that they’d like to get the funding for that wall ASAP, and that they’ll be asking our government, not Mexico’s, to foot the bill.
Even if you ignore politics, you couldn’t avoid all the talk about this thousand-plus mile wall Trump proposed for our southern border. CNN and other news outlets replayed his comments about the plan for a year straight – which, when you think about it, only helped the Republican secure the Presidency.
For our purposes today, there’s only two facts you need to know: this wall is estimated to cost at least $10 billion (some guesses put that number much higher), and Trump swore ‘til he was blue in the face that Mexico would pay for it.
His team is backpedaling on that second point. Trump’s current plan appears to have the Republican-controlled Congress to approve the appropriation by leveraging the upcoming spending bill. Long story short, come April, Republicans can put Democrats in a position where they’re forced to approve the wall funding, or risk shutting down our entire government.
When criticized for retreating from a campaign promise, Republican leaders were quick to defend the strategy, saying we’ll eventually get paid back. “When you understand that Mexico's economy is dependent upon US consumers, Donald Trump has all the cards he needs to play," New York Representative and liaison to Trump’s transition team Chris Collins said. "On the trade negotiation side, I don't think it's that difficult for Donald Trump to convince Mexico that it's in their best interest to reimburse us for building the wall."
And then, of course, Trump decided to speak up on Twitter:
Not even sure how that’s possible but, in the meantime, one thing looks certain: American taxpayers are footing the bill.