Last year, Donald Trump perpetrated the longest government shutdown in U.S. history over funding for his racist border wall along the Mexican border.
He had originally demanded $5.7 billion for its construction, and even temporarily conceded to settle for less.
Then Trump reverted back to his original $5.7 billion, refusing to budge, identifying $3.6 billion in military construction funds, $2.5 billion in Defense Department funds, and $600 million from the Treasury department’s asset forfeiture rife for the taking.
Since then, the question of how to secure funding has been in the hands of the United States Supreme Court after Trump claimed a “national emergency” necessitates immediate action.
Friday, the nation’s highest court handed down its decision.
Of the nine justices, the five conservatives all agreed to block a lower-court ruling barring Trump from putting money toward a wall, allowing him to pay for it with $2.5 billion in Congressionally approved Pentagon funds, explaining:
“The Government has made a sufficient showing at this stage that the plaintiffs have no cause of action to obtain review.”
The original lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed on the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition’s behalf argued the Trump administration “lacks authority to spend taxpayer funds on a wall that Congress considered and denied.”
ACLU’s National Security Project staff attorney, Dror Ladin, promised the groups will pursue an expeditious appeals process, adding:
“Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied.”
With just the money originally intended from the Defense Dept., the administration states it can construct more than 100 miles of fencing.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) characterized the decision “deeply regrettable and nonsensical. [It] flies in the face of the will of Congress and the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our founders established in the Constitution.”
“It’s a sad day when the president is cheering a decision that may allow him to steal funds from our military to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall for which he promised Mexico would foot the bill.”
Don’t forget that last point: Trump “promised” Mexico was going to pay for the wall (which was never a bright idea anyway.)
Where are all the fiscal hawks who pretend to be so concerned about government spending?
Where are all the MAGA-hatted Trumpetts swearing Trump “kept his promises”?
When it comes to healthcare, education, infrastructure, and social safety nets, we somehow always come up short-changed.
But we “found” money for a wall simply by invoking a “national emergency.”
We have a national opioid epidemic.
Climate change is threatening to cause “climate apartheid.”
Our Secretary of State and National Security Adviser are salivating over the possibility of a war with Iran.
But a wall is a “national emergency.”
Funny how that works out.
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