New reports suggest President Donald Trump could make U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for his proposed wall between the United States of America and Mexico. One of Trump’s key promises since he began his campaign was that he would make Mexico pay for his proposed border wall. Although Trump has vociferously denied reneging on his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall, House Republicans are apparently working on a plan to fund U.S. taxpayer money into the wall project. House Republicans are specifically using a 2006 law signed by President George W. Bush. This legislation was intended to build a southern border and can still technically be enforced. The current POTUS can pick up right where former President Bush left off. However, this project would be funded with money from Congress.
Doubt On Capitol Hill; Certainty in Trump’s Mind
Many Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have expressed serious doubts about Trump’s plan to get Mexico to pay for the wall. For example, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told reporters:
“There’s a lot [Trump] could do if he wanted to [force Mexico’s hand]. In all honesty, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Some Republican leaders even said they thought that getting the Mexican government to pay for the wall was just a “gimmick.” Besides trying to use the 2006 law, Republican lawmakers will probably try to use the Remittance Status Verification Act of 2015 to extract funding for the wall from illegal immigrants. This 2015 Act was passed forcing cash remittance providers to provide the government with details on every senders’ legal residence. People unable to show proof of residency in the USA could still wire funds, but they would be taxed 7 percent. This tax money could then be used towards border security.
For the President’s part, Trump seems undeterred to at least try to get Mexico to officially pay for the wall. The President’s transition team told GOP Representatives to put funding for the wall into the spending package for April. Even if Americans have to pay for the initial start of the wall, Trump still says he wants to get reimbursed from Mexico. Trump told reporters he will try to use negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement to persuade Mexican authorities to pay the USA for the wall.
Mexico Still Firmly Against Paying For The Border Wall
While Trump and Republican lawmakers may not seem to be on the same page, Mexico is taking a hard stance against paying the USA for a border wall. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray recently made a television address saying there is no way Mexico can be coerced into paying for this wall. Videgaray said:
“There are no circumstances…not even the best possible trade deal…which would justify taking a step that would violate the dignity of Mexicans to such an extent.”
Although Videgaray is very public against any Mexican support for the wall, he has been one of the key links between the Trump team and Mexican authorities. Mexico’s Foreign Minister has met with Trump’s senior White House adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner on various occasions, and Videgaray told the Mexican press that he has a “very favorable impression” of Kushner. Whether or not these meetings will change Videgary’s opinion on paying for the U.S.-Mexican wall has yet to be seen.
How Much Will This Great Wall Of Trump Cost Us?
President Donald Trump says the total cost for the wall will be around $11 billion, but most engineers believe the final cost will be much higher. As every day passes, it appears more likely that U.S. taxpayers will pay for this 1,900-mile long wall. Some new proposals flying around include making U.S. prisoners construct the border wall. This might reduce the cost for skilled laborers, but the legality of this plan is criticized by humanitarian organizations. Despite all of this criticism and doubt, the President continues to regularly assure Americans via Twitter that he will get Mexico to pay for the wall, one way or another.
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