Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly let it be known the White House is considering pushing for an emergency supplemental spending bill to fund the border wall.
A way to fund the wall without Democrat support
Tonight, President Trump is set to speak to the nation on the crisis at the border during a primetime address. (RELATED: President Trump Will Make Primetime Address to the Nation on Border Security.) After being relatively silent during the Christmas holiday, the President is taking his case straight to the American people via a nationwide broadcast. As the government shutdown continues, and Democrats refuse to budge on any wall funding, Trump is taking to the bully pulpit, using a direct visual medium to make his case for the border wall.
Anticipation is high for this address, as the President is hoping it will help make his case that a border wall is necessary and that Democrats are putting our safety and security at risk by refusing to fund a physical barrier. However, it’s unclear if it will be enough to force Democrats to fold.
A separate border-wall funding option
When the fight over border-wall funding began, President Trump hinted that he could do an end-run around Congress, using funds from the military to finance the wall’s construction. (RELATED: Trump Confirms the U.S. Military Will Construct the Border Wall if Democrats Refuse Funding.) The President has stated he’d rather not go that route, but is keeping it open as an option if necessary.
But, there is another option. According to the intrepid reporters at Politico, the President is mulling another option: an emergency supplemental spending bill. From the morning “Playbook“: “If Democrats somehow accede to a physical barrier of any kind at some point, the VP discussed the White House supporting an emergency supplemental spending bill. This would allow the wall to be built outside the current spending caps.”
Democrats warming to steel-slatted fence proposal
Yesterday, Democrat Senator Chris Coons said that Trump’s offer of a steel palisade rather than a concrete wall is a “minor but important” step in the right direction toward making a deal and ending the shutdown. (RELATED: Trump Heads to Southern Border as Democrat Senator Chris Coons Says Progress Is Being Made.)
It would seem like Democrats are warming up to the idea of supporting some sort of physical barrier. The devil is just in the details, or the semantics, as it were. If Trump can get Democrats to agree to funding one form of border security that is a physical barrier, down the road Trump could use funds from an emergency spending bill to actually construct the wall.
The only question is: will Democrats now agree to any kind of barrier if Trump plans on getting his wall no matter what?