About President Trump’s border wall, which Mexico still isn’t going to pay for no matter how much he pleads, it might not be the brick structure he promised after all. In other words, a fence. Trump’s wall will be a fence.
At least that’s how the White House would like to frame it in order to avoid a looming government shutdown over the budget. Politico reported that Marc Short, the White House’s director of legislative affairs, tried to market the wall as a “double fence” in a meeting with Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Democrats successfully blocked allocating funds for Trump’s wall last spring, but the White House is unwilling to back down during the upcoming budget debates — even if that means a government shutdown, according to Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget Director.
So, hoping to entice Democrats, Short offered funding for “pet projects” in exchange for the wall’s funding. But, as it so unsurprisingly turns out, Trump’s wall was never really going to be the wall he so proudly proposed on the campaign trail.
Still, some Republicans are hopeful that if the White House can sell the border barrier as a “fence” instead of a wall, perhaps some Democrats will be more receptive. Technically, the House wall funding package would not finance a massive brick-and-mortar structure, as Trump promised on the campaign trail, but rather, double fencing and levies.
Democrats, for the time being, aren’t taking the bait and the White House needs eight to approve its fence. “I do know for a fact that every [Democrat] considers wall funding to be a poison pill,” Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin said. Baldwin, who orchestrated 2013's budget compromise, suggested the fence would be approved if Mexico actually paid for construction (Mexico still isn’t going to pay for it).
As for Trump’s fence, it’s worth noting that 700 miles of fencing already exists along the border. Its unclear how Trump plans to address the rampant problem of drugs catapulting across the fence and hitting Americans on the other side.