To the Editor:
I am responding to “Building the wall” by William E. Quinn.
Mr. Quinn, the only “interesting” thing from your letter was your misperception of reality. My understanding is that there has already been over 650 miles of border wall built. Yet, all of this construction occurred under the two previous administrations. Most of the wall I reference was built in highly populated areas where it would be most effective.
It is also my understanding that not one mile of “new” wall has been built under Trump’s watch.
Is that Herculean? Trump’s “maneuvering” that you laud includes doing nothing for his first two years, when he had control of both chambers of Congress, and walking away from a deal which offered him $25 billion for the wall. Was that Herculean?
Instead, Trump shut down the government and asked for $5.7 billion before he would re-open it. But the Democratic Party called his bluff, and Trump had to re-open the government without one penny for his wall. Was that Herculean?
The House and the Senate then got together and decided on $1.4 billion for the wall. This was in addition to the $1.6 billion appropriated the previous year, which Trump has still not used.
You, me, and Trump, might not agree with the final dollar amount but this is the way government is supposed to work. There is over 650 miles of wall built and the Democratic Party has contributed to this. Under Trump, there have been nearly $3 billion appropriated for the wall and there can always be more appropriations in future years. The only “Herculean maneuver” Trump managed was putting his Republicans in the position of voting against him based on the separation of powers as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
In the federal government of the United States, the power of the purse is vested in the Congress as laid down in the Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, Clause 7.
No matter how any of us Americans feel on the issue of the wall, every single one of us needs to stand up against this usurpation of power by Trump. He is not a dictator. Not yet. If the Congress passes a budget and Trump gets to turn around and spend the money any way he wants, then we will have a dictator. This seems to be the Herculean maneuver Trump is attempting.