by Graham Pierrepoint
A border wall separating Mexico from the US was one of the main facets of Donald Trump’s Presidential election campaign – and it’s one that has remained a benchmark of his policies and indeed the confidence he showed ahead of being elected in November 2016. However, things have not gone as swimmingly as the businessman may have expected, following comments last week that he assumed he would find the role easier – and following a defeat on changes to Obamacare put to Congress. But what of the border wall? Following discussions over the weekend regarding a spending plan in Congress, it appears that funding for the proposed border is yet to appear in financial plans – so how will it be accounted for?
The $1 trillion plan is currently facing Congressional negotiators and it appears that despite Trump having initially asserted that the projections include funding for the wall, the measure has been discounted entirely from the brief. This, it is stated, is thought to be due to Trump dropping the matter ahead of discussions – and that any budget spent on wall-building can only technically be applied with regard to repairs and investments in technology. The lack of an appearance from the wall in the budget is something of a victory for Democratic congresspeople, particularly those keen to avoid having US taxpayers fund the structure from their own pockets. The budget, however, does take into account additional military spending and border control – meaning that US protection is at least covered to some degree.
So how will Trump’s proposed wall get funded? The President famously stated during the campaign trail that Mexico would be paying for it – however, with tensions high between the two countries arguably due in part to the President’s rhetoric during campaigning, a deal remains unlikely at this time – and it continues to be a very sensitive time for the US’ top team, with several contentious issues and diplomatic affairs all firing in tandem.
Trump’s team are still under investigation for alleged ties to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, while many are still reeling from prompt bombings authorized by Trump upon Syria and Afghanistan in the past month. In addition to this, there has been continued tension between the US and North Korea in recent days, with no clear end in sight – could we be in for an additional 100 days more interesting than the first?