It now looks like the Congress is coming to a compromise on the issue of Border Security and it will include $1.3B for barriers on the border. Since the President requested $5.7B for barriers the media will immediately announce this as a defeat for the Administration and a victory for Nancy Pelosi. In some ways they will be correct, but they will ignore that Speaker Pelosi said emphatically that she would not approve $1 for border barriers. What it looks like to me is that this was a compromise and it is something that Congress should be doing more and more in order to get things done.
As I am writing this there are some reports that members of the Freedom Caucus are not happy with the bill and the lack of money for border security and they may try to hold it up. If the left wing of the Democrats were to object because there is any amount of money in the bill, then passage could be in doubt. I believe that there should be sufficient support from the more moderate members in both parties.
Of course, we also have to realize that the President could refuse to sign the new bill and that would put us back to a show down with the Congress and a possible closure of the government once again. I don’t think this will happen because politically it would be foolish for Trump to veto a bill where he would have to absorb the blame for the shutdown.
One other provision of the bill that was a sticking point was the number of beds that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can have. Right now, they have expanded that to 52,000 beds and Democrats wanted that number reduced to 32,000. The compromise will allow ICE to keep just under 41,000 beds. This may not seem like an important part of the bill and you have to wonder why Democrats want that number reduced. Simply put, they want to try and stop ICE from arresting people in the country illegally and to go back to a catch and release program that allows people crossing the border to be released into the country after being given a court order to appear at some future date. The number of people not appearing on that date continues to escalate. And you can expect it to skyrocket when the immigration courts begin to deny asylum claims for thousands of immigrants from Central America. The overwhelming majority of them are coming her for economic reasons and that is not grounds for asylum.
It is interesting that the Democrats are always saying we should look for what the experts say. When Trump disagreed with the some of his intelligence experts the Democrats were quick to point out the disconnect and criticize Trump. They were correct to do so. But on Border Security they are not interested in what the experts have to say. The Directors of the Border Patrol have consistently said that barriers in key places are needed and make sense. It allows them to concentrate their efforts on the spots were barriers would not work. But you don’t hear the Democrats asking for their opinion. They would rather keep this strictly a political argument and not examine what will work and not work.
One last point on this issue. I keep hearing many in the media make the statement that Trump and his supporters could have gotten his wall money when Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate. This is the most disingenuous comment and people should be asking how stupid those making it really are? Rule 22 of the Senate made it impossible for Republicans in the Senate to get any funding through because it would have required a number of Democrats to support it to get to the 60-vote threshold. So put that blame where it belongs and that is with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow Senate Democrats who blocked any attempt to fund increased border security.
New Faces of the Democratic Party
The Democrats in the House have three new brash freshman who are constantly vying to get media attention and they are succeeding in putting the regular Democrats on the defensive.
The most noted and most vocal has been Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is an avowed socialist and has been all over the media since she upset long term incumbent Joseph Crowley. This past week she rolled out her “Green New Deal” that would among other things outlaw plane traffic. She said it would begin to change the world and would end racism and unemployment. Her bill would provide a guaranteed wage to every American even those that were “unwilling” to work. She gets fact checked over and over and gets upset when even the liberal press points out her factual errors.
The next new Democrat getting a lot of attention is Ilhan Omar, a new Democrat from Minnesota. She has been speaking out and recently claimed that the American Israeli Political Acton Committee (AIPAC) was paying member of Congress to support Israel. She has a long history of anti-Semitic statements when criticized by members of both parties she offered up a weak apology and at the end of the apology used a backhanded approach to reaffirm her original point.
Today she sat in a hearing on the Foreign Affairs Committee and attacked the U.S. Special Envoy to Venezuela, Eliot Abrams on his actions in the 1980’s. When “questioning” Abrams she said “I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful,” When Abrams tried to respond she said it was not a question and he could not answer. Rightfully so Mr. Abrams was outraged and called it an attack and he would respond. The back and forth was a clear attack on Mr. Abrams and a clear indication of Cong. Omar’s support for the socialist regime in Venezuela. One has to also wonder if Mr. Abrams being Jewish led to these attacks.
The third new face striving for media notoriety is Cong. Rashida Tlaib. You will remember her as the one that used the most vulgar language in telling people what she would tell her son she intended to do to Trump once she was sworn in as a member of Congress. Her comment was, and I quote, “And I said baby, they don’t because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherf—er.”
She is also under fire for writing a column in “The Final Call” which is a publication by the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitism.
What I would like to see someone do is ask Ms. Oman and Ms. Tlaib to denounce the radical Islamists and anyone calling for Jihad? Ask them if they believe Sharia law at any time should supersede the Constitution and other U.S. codes? Ask them when they are going to condemn the treatment of women in Islamic nations? These are answers that I would like to hear and I think most Americans would be interested in hearing.
These three are rapidly becoming the new face of the Democrat party and I am not sure how that will fare in the suburban districts that many moderate Democrats won in 2018. There call for radical legislation and foreign policy might not fit very well with voters that want to see progress on issues of importance and not more gridlock and extremism