White House spokesperson: We're just going to use the treasury as a slush fund for Trump's wall
There are signs that Individual 1 is backing down on his demand that he get $5 billion for his wall or shut the government down, all based on the idea that he can just get the money from other places. That’s the line press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave in a rare briefing Tuesday. “Look,” she said, “we’re not asking American taxpayers for that. We are looking at existing funding through other agencies right now.”
Which would indeed be taxpayer dollars, since that’s what funds those other agencies—just not “new” taxpayer dollars. Apparently this is what they’re going with, as Trump’s way of saving face and getting his money anyway, or at least what his staff is trying to convince him can happen. Never mind that it doesn’t so much work that way. If the administration tries to move money around from other sources without congressional approval, as one expert in appropriations told Fox News’ Chad Pergram, “It would create a shitstorm.”
There’s also the question of whether Congress could act soon enough to actually get something done. The answer is: maybe. But it gets sketchier with every hour that passes, particularly when you’ve got a Republican lame-duck House in total disarray and off on another tax-cutting tangent. Assuming that part of the government does shut down, at least temporarily, what gets closed?
Right now, the Senate is at an impasse with Democrat Chuck Schumer rejecting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal of tacking an additional $1 billion Trump could use however he wanted onto the previously agreed to $1.6 billion. Schumer said there was no way they’d offer Trump this “slush fund.” Of course, as far as Trump is concerned, the entire treasury is a slush fund. That’s always been how he operates. McConnell has, supposedly, finally decided to get involved, and says “I’m in conversation with the White House on the way forward.”
Nice of McConnell to decide to do something, now that we’re just three days away from a partial government shutdown.