I Think Congressional Republicans Are Setting Up President Trump to Fail on the Border Wall

News reports suggest that as Texas is grappling with Hurricane Harvey’s flooding, Republicans in Washington intend to cut upwards of a billion dollars from disaster relief funding and FEMA in order to pay for President Trump’s border wall. That sounds like political suicide given press coverage of Texas and congressional Republicans are not suicidal, they are survivalists. In fact, they are rather Lord of the Flies.

Look at it this way. Republicans in Congress do not do anything that risks them looking bad on camera. They do their best to play to the press as Republicans in Washington are far more interested in being liked by the media than by their constituents. It is one of several reasons they had no interest in actually repealing Obamacare.

Now they’re faced with a natural disaster of Biblical proportions and their response is to cut funding for disaster? That makes no sense.

What does make sense is that they do not want and have never wanted to fund a border wall. Remember, Republicans actually passed authorization for the border wall when George W. Bush was President and they got Democrats like Chuck Schumer to support the legislation. He and others supported it because they left it unfunded — something they have continued to fail to fund.

They have a sudden interest in funding it now? No. They have an interest in making the President pick in a devil’s bargain. He will either get his border wall by cutting disaster relief for Texas. Or he will get disaster relief by cutting funding for his border wall.

After several weeks of media reports about illegal aliens being afraid of ICE agents rounding them up during evacuations, media reports of all the damage done, and media reports of all the people without flood insurance whose homes are destroyed, Republicans are daring President Trump to cut disaster relief for his wall.

When the President, logically, chooses not to cut funding for disaster relief, they can say they tried to find him money for his wall, but just could not swing it.

What I foresee happening is President Trump choosing option C, which is something the GOP has not put on the table. That would be “both.” He will demand they fund both disaster relief and the wall or the government shuts down. Then President Trump can blame congressional Republicans for failing to both take care of Texas and secure our border. He can do the one thing Republicans in Congress loathe — engage in a Mexican stand off over a border wall between us and Mexico. The only thing Republicans in Washington hate more than President Trump is a government shutdown. Why? It goes back to my point above. They want to be loved by the media and they know the media will blame them.

Congressional Republicans gave Barack Obama a blank check to take this country over $20 trillion in national debt. Do not forget that they opened a debt ceiling increase and left it open, without a cap, for a period of time that Barack Obama took advantage of. Do we really believe they will not do it for President Trump? Do we really believe the GOP would let Barack Obama grow the national debt and will not let President Trump to protect Texas and the border?

The GOP in Washington thinks it is setting up President Trump to fail and in reality they are setting themselves up to be beaten bloody by him and by the media.

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Erick Erickson

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