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Report: Trump Will Most Likely Bypass Congress to Build Border Wall

Report: Trump Will Most Likely Bypass Congress to Build Border Wall

Axios is reporting that while President Donald Trump did not go so far as to declare a national emergency during his prime-time plea to build his long-promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, that is most likely what he will try to do.

Of course, that move would face legal challenges from Democrats and there are even Republicans who view the move of bypassing Congress for funding as an abuse of power.

The government shutdown over border wall funding entered its 19th day on Wednesday with no end in sight. The record longest government shutdown is 21 days.

Per Axios:

Conservatives, including sources in the conservative legal orbit surrounding Trump, don’t like what they view as an abuse of this authority.

Meanwhile, the White House Office of Management and Budget has been exploring other creative ways to get Trump his wall money without having to go through Congress, according to a source close to Russ Vought, a top OMB official.
  • OMB, at Trump’s behest, is exploring whether he can tap Pentagon resources to fund the wall without going to Congress, the source said.
  • The Pentagon option is one of a couple of possibilities being seriously contemplated, per the source.
  • Any such move, of course, would face political headwinds, given that even the most obscure pots of federal money have members of Congress jealously guarding them.

Privately, President Trump “dismissed his own new strategy as pointless,” the N.Y. Times’ Peter Baker reports and I’ve confirmed:

  • “In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas [for a border visit tomorrow], but was talked into it by advisers.”

“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Trump said.

  • “The trip was merely a photo opportunity, he said. ‘But,’ he added, gesturing at his communications aides Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, ‘these people behind you say it’s worth it.'”