Retiring Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the fight over funding a border wall is a “made-up fight” by Donald Trump. Corker says Trump is trying to score political points, not protect the border.
“This is a made-up fight, so the president can look like he’s fighting, but even if he wins, our borders are going to be insecure,” Corker said.
Corker noted that Trump and Senate Democratic leaders are fighting over only a few billion dollars in border fencing funding.
Trump has asked Congress to spend $5 billion on a border wall, or a steel slat barrier, as he has recently modified his demand, while Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer(N.Y.) has only offered $1.3 billion for border fencing.
“It’s a spectacle, and candidly, it’s juvenile,” Corker said. “The whole thing is juvenile.”
Corker, a frequent and vociferous Trump critic, pointed out that if Trump were serious about border security, he would have taken a deal offered by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier this year:
He argued that if Trump was motivated primarily by border security instead of politics, he would have accepted the deal that Schumer offered him in January: $25 billion for border security in exchange for the reauthorization of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“The president could have received $25 billion in border security, just by dealing with the Dreamers. Which by the way, most Republicans want to deal with the Dreamers,” Corker said, referring to immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age.
If Trump had taken that deal, his base would have felt betrayed. And rightly so. Trump has been, if nothing else, consistent on immigration and while he supports authorizing some DACA recipients, he opposed the blanket amnesty that Obama initiated.
So the “deal” that Corker says Trump turned down wasn’t much of a deal at all.
That said, Corker is right. A few billion dollars is not going to make a difference in the numbers of illegal aliens who cross our border. Pretending otherwise is a matter of politics, not reality. No one on Capitol Hill believes that Trump can get $5 billion in funding for his wall — not even Trump supporters. So the president will be forced to make a deal that will include an amount considerably less than what he is demanding, those agencies shut down during the funding fight will reopen, and all of this will soon be forgotten.