Friday, 19 July, 2019


Trump likely to get fraction of wall money in bipartisan deal

Representative Suzan Del Bene at a House Ways and Means Committee Oversight Subcommittee hearing on whether to compel candidates for US president and vice president to release their tax records on Capitol Hill in Washingt Trump likely to get fraction of wall money in bipartisan deal
Bennie Garza | 09 February, 2019, 18:41

On Capitol Hill, House and Senate conferees were nearing an agreement that could offer the president between $1.3 billion and around $2 billion in funding for border security, a range, still subject to change, that could include some physical barriers and result in a deal as early as Monday.

The law, which Democrats can invoke without Republican approval, states that the chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means committee each have the power to request taxpayer information and states that "the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request".

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, will begin hearings this week on presidential tax returns.

Trump also met Thursday with Republican Sen.

Democrats disputed that figure, saying it was too high and that negotiations were ongoing. "And the president, I think, has embraced the idea that there may actually be something better than a concrete wall would have been anyway".

Rep. Steven M. Palazzo, R-Miss., a conference committee member, said he expects a deal will be reached "before the end of the weekend" and that aid for disaster victims would be included.

Lawmakers on Friday refused to release many details of the plan coming together, cautioning that negotiators are working well together and they don't want to spoil the good faith.

Rep. Lucille Roybal Allard (D-Calif.) said it would be "unrealistic" not to give Trump some funding for a physical barrier, though reports suggest any new deal would involve less than his requested $5.7 billion.

Among potential candidates, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a centrist Democrat, appears to be contemplating a 2020 presidential run, and he stands a chance against President Trump.

"I'd suspect that Bob Mueller and his team are looking at that already and hopefully it's part of a report that is submitted to us shortly", Kind said, referring to the special counsel investigating Russian election-meddling and possible involvement by Trump's campaign.

During the campaign he asserted the returns couldn't be released while he was under audit, and after the vote his administration said he wouldn't release them because Americans elected him without seeing the returns.

Besides opposition from some conservatives pushing for more wall money, some liberals may not accept the final product.

Total construction of the proposed southern border wall would cost about $25 billion, far from the funding the GOP-Democrat committee is expected to offer.

Any compromise would nearly certainly fund those agencies. The Senate could possibly be an issue, but as long as the Democrats are on board and there is enough Republican support to get past the required cloture motions, then it would only take about two or three days to make its way through that body, and possibly much less time if Mitch McConnell can manage to get the GOP caucus to agree to passing the measure by unanimous consent.

A section of newly replaced border wall separates Tijuana, Mexico, above left, from San Diego, Jan 15, 2019 image. You put cement on one side, a low fence on top", he said, "and voila you've got a barrier. "Some of us will call it flood control and it's a win-win".

Schiff said that the committee wanted to know whether "any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates". Late last month, he said negotiators were "wasting their time" if they weren't discussing the wall.

Lawmakers have grown accustomed to expecting the unexpected from Trump. Leading Democrats have said there will be no money for a wall, despite the president's declaration during his State of the Union address on Tuesday that "I will get it built".

Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she was hopeful of an agreement that would "protect our borders as we protect our values". "If we can work within some of the parameters that we talked about today, that we'll keep to ourselves right now, I think he would sign it". Democrats have since relented into offering more than $1 billion.

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