President Trump is insisting on $5 billion to fund significant construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock says Trump should use the recently passed Farm Bill as leverage to get what he wants from Congress.
Known formally as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the bill has already passed the House and Senate but is awaiting Trump’s signature. Many conservatives, including Murdock, already oppose the legislation.
“It contains $867 billion over ten years in farm subsidies, including brand new subsidies for barley, for hops, for hemp, ridiculous nonsense we don’t need.
“(It also has) food stamp money used to have work requirements that basically said, ‘If you want to get food stamps, you’ve got to work or take classes, or do something to get yourself out of poverty. Those work requirements have been weakened if not removed…so this is welfare un-reform,” said Murdock.
Murdock says Trump should threaten to veto the Farm Bill if he does not get the funding he wants for the border.
“‘You give me money for the wall? Great, I’ll sign this bill. You don’t give me money for the wall? I veto this bill.’ Throw that right back in their faces,” said Murdock.
But there’s a limit to the effectiveness of that threat. The Farm Bill passed the Senate 87-13 and cleared the House 369-47, meaning Congress could easily override a Trump veto.
Murdock says it can still be a useful issue for Trump as the funding debate plays out, both by taking the issue directly to the American people and by putting pressure on congressional Republicans to get something done on border security before the House flips to Democratic Party control in January.
“If he vetoes this thing and he gets his veto overridden, he can say, ‘Look, I tried.’ He needs to give Republicans and conservatives, including everybody left, middle, and right in this country the sense that he worked for this and pushed for this as hard as he could. He needs to whip Republicans. He needs to get Republicans to do their jobs,” said Murdock.
He says time is of the essence because Trump and Republicans will have an easier time “squeezing champagne out of a cinder block” than getting wall funding our of incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Murdock’s explanation of why congressional Republicans are so hesitant to fight for border wall funding and what he thinks President Trump must get in funding to avoid looking like he broke his promise.