One of the must provocative claims made by Donald Trump during his campaign for president was that he would somehow make Mexico pay for his planned border wall. It was brilliant rhetoric with no basis in reality.
It has since been said that Trump’s critics took him literally but not seriously, while his supporters took him seriously but not literally. If that is true, then the latter won’t be disappointed to learn that Trump is backing away from his pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall.
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has signaled to congressional Republican leaders that his preference is to fund the border wall through the appropriations process as soon as April, according to House Republican officials.
The move would break a key campaign promise when Trump repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for the construction of the wall along the border, though in October, Trump suggested for the first time that Mexico would reimburse the US for the cost of the wall.
In fairness, building the wall would require such appropriation no matter what. Theoretically, Trump could still pursue reimbursement from Mexico in some form. He said during the campaign that he would threaten to intercept remittances sent back to Mexico from immigrant workers in the United States, and obtain funding for the wall either from the Mexican government acquiescing or from the seized remittance payments. Even if that plan were viable, which remains in great doubt, it would still require a congressional appropriation for the actual construction. That said, given Trump’s several retreats from campaign promises since the election, such follow-through seems unlikely.