Lindsey Graham: The Wall is Going Up “One Way or the Other”
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham said there was no doubt about the fate of the wall under the leadership of President Donald Trump.
“To everybody who’s wondering how this movie ends, it ends this way,” said the South Carolina lawmaker. “We’re going to build the wall one way or the other.”
Telling Hannity that he’d just spoken to Trump about the border, he said that Democrats were fighting against barrier proposals that most of them had already voted for and supported in the past.
“The $5.7 billion represents ten locations according to the Department of Homeland Security that a barrier would make the most difference,” he said. “It’s a professionally designed plan. If you look at the 10 locations on the border where the professionals say we need a barrier, it adds up to $5.7 billion. Every Democrat virtually has voted for 634 miles of fencing. When you ask people where the 10 locations of the 634 miles we need something up now, they gave us the locations and the price tag is $5.7 billion. The president is not doing anything crazy. What’s crazy is that they’re fighting him after having voted the way they did in the past.”
Graham acknowledged, however, that Hannity was right to be concerned about Republicans who aren’t nearly as gung-ho about securing the border as the president.
“I’m worried, too,” he admitted. “If you don’t stand by this president – every president, Bush, Obama and Trump sent troops to the border. What is unusual about that? Nothing. What is the difference between sending a troop to secure the border and build a barrier while they’re there? He has all the power in the world to do this. To my Republican colleagues, stand behind him – if you don’t, you’re going to pay a price.”
Graham’s remarks came on the same day that Democrats in the House put forth their first offer for wall funding as part of the renewed negotiations cycle. That offer? $0.00.
“Democrats are once again supporting strong border security as an essential component of homeland security. Border security, however, is more than physical barriers; and homeland security is more than border security,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA).
President Trump tweeted that Democrats were “wasting their time” if they were developing plans for a spending bill that did not include money for the wall. Simultaneously, however, the White House is working on finalized plans to declare a national emergency that would divert Pentagon funds to the wall without congressional support.
Given the way Democrats have dug themselves into a trench on this issue, executive action may be the president’s only remaining recourse.