Face it: This hasn’t been a great week for Donald Trump. Yesterday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis — triggered, it appears, by the Syria withdrawal — was the crowning moment.
Check that: The crowning moment came when the Democrats’ leading hypocrites in Congress, minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, did a tag-team press conference in which they vented over the president’s last-minute announcement that he would not sign the spending bill that passed the Senate without at least some funding for a border wall.
In the presser, a video of which follows, the phrase temper tantrum is used five times to describe the president’s refusal to back down from his key campaign promise. The accusation that his decision is “plunging the nation into chaos” occurs four times.
But if there is a recurring theme to the Democratic leaders’ posturing, it is condemnation of the border wall, which occurs seven times, usually formulated as “Trump will get his government shutdown but he won’t get his wall.”
So what is Schumer’s chief objection to the wall? One might presume that the Senate minority leader is opposed in principle to a wall on the border, but history suggests otherwise. In 2006, he signed the Secure Fence Act, and in 2013 he sponsored and voted for a comprehensive immigration plan that included a border wall.
That leaves cost as a factor. To be sure, during the press conference Schumer at one point refers to the wall’s “exorbitant price tag.” But assuming that $5 billion is too much to spend on a border wall, is there an amount Schumer might be good with? As it turns out, the answer is yes.
According to PolitiFact (yes, PolitiFact!), Schumer’s 2013 immigration plan set aside “more than $46 billion for border security.”
The vast majority of that money ($30 billion) was for hiring more U.S. Border Patrol agents along the southern border. Around $8 billion would have gone toward building or repairing 700 miles of fencing (including some double-layer fencing) along the U.S.-Mexico border. [Emphasis added]
There you are! If the president wants to get his wall built, he will need to add $3 billion to the proposed cost before he can win the support of Chuck Schumer.