Most polled Trump supporters were adamantly opposed to his signature of the US $1.3 trillion omnibus liberal porkulus-filled establishment-sponsored, stinky, foul spending bill. (Did we include enough epithets?) It was received with incredible distaste and on talk shows even as conservative as Rush Limbaugh’s own call-in program, many callers were completely outraged, even threatening to cut off their support of the President and his work.
However, on Sunday morning, March 25th, it appeared that the President believes he has found a way to win even with this, um, sandwich that was handed to him:
Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018
Much can be done with the $1.6 Billion given to building and fixing the border wall. It is just a down payment. Work will start immediately. The rest of the money will come – and remember DACA, the Democrats abandoned you (but we will not)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018
Is this really possible? According to John Salisbury, apparently a real tough conservative Twitter-naut, it is. Let’s look at his stated points:
“Let’s talk about what the President can and can’t do for this Omnibus Bill. There’s a lot of discussion both ways so let’s examine how money gets allocated & spent in the US Government:
- 1. Congress allocates money to be spent. The President spends the allocated money.
- 2. Once Congress allocates money, their job is oversight of the money being spent. They don’t spend the money and have no say HOW it gets spent as long as it’s spent legally. That’s their job to monitor with oversight.
- 3. Once the President is given the money with the instructions to spend it, he has a number of choices to make in spending it. There are some rules he has to follow & some of the money is fungible (replaceable by another identical item; mutually interchangeable) and some isn’t.
- 4. However there are some other factors that are in play here. One of them is that the President has declared a Human Rights Emergency AND has notified Congress that he’s invoking the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
- 5. This opens up new options.
- 6. By making these two declarations President Trump has just communicated that he has the authority to NOT spend any funds he doesn’t deem necessary and will return them to the US Treasury. So, funds for Planned Parenthood? He can simply not allocate the funds.
- 7. Also, these declarations make some funds fungible. For instance if he determines that building a Wall on the Southern Border is a defense against Human Trafficking? He can move funds from anywhere else in the Defense Dept Allocation & simply build the Wall.
- 8. Congress is powerless to stop cash reallocations on an omnibus bill AND cannot stop the DOD from taking measures under a declared Emergency.
- 9. Despite their language in the Omnibus Bill about the Border Wall, it is trumped by the State of Emergency that Trump declared.
- 10. So in summary – This will go to the Courts. Congress will sue the President over the Border Wall. But here’s how it will play out – Congress and the President are co-equal branches with different functions. Congress allocates. The President spends.
- 11. The President has National Security as his Primary Responsibility and it’s his job to use whatever funds and declarations he needs to for that job. No Court in this Nation (except corrupt on the take Judges) would EVER rule against a President for exercising that authority.
- 12. In the end the Supreme Court (yes, that’s where it will end) will fully VALIDATE the President’s Constitutional Authority & the Wall will be built.
While this is something to read through carefully, it appears that it checks out against the fact-checking smell test. In a later tweet, the same John Salisbury noted “This has Mulvaney’s fingers all over it”, referring to the savvy of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. By invoking the Balanced Budget Act of 1985 and by referring to the Human Rights Emergency executive order signed on December 21, 2017, the President has cleared the way to use the budget allocations in much the way he wants.
If this is indeed the strategy used, it is a brilliant way of turning lemons into lemonade. Now, granted, with all the negative opinion, including that from such respected sources as Rush Limbaugh (who was VERY disturbed on his radio program on Friday about the signing of this bill), it is hard to believe that something good can come from this. Even President Trump sounded rather like he was trying to force positivity in his speech that day.
Still, we can only wait and watch. As referenced in another piece, this is not a total fix. The next step is to expunge the Congress of as many establishment politicians as possible come November’s midterms.
But all is definitely not lost.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.