Arizona's Gallego on Facebook Live: Republicans Are Making Us Pay $1.6B for the Border Wall

The proposed budget for the border wall would cost $1.6 billion.
The proposed budget for the border wall would cost $1.6 billion. Ray Stern
House Democrats are not willing to play games when it comes to the border wall.

Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego assembled a small army of Democrats to speak out against the Republicans efforts of “sneaking” in $1.6 billion for funding the border wall along Mexico.

Republicans slipped in an amendment to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act to fund the border wall as a self-executing provision. This means there would not be a debate or vote on the floor.

But Democrats are calling them out.

In a letter to Republican Congressman Pete Sessions, chairman of House Rules Committee, 16 Democrat representatives urged Sessions to reconsider this provision.

Several of Democratic congressman from states on the border also spoke out on a Facebook Live press conference Tuesday morning.
Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Democrats agree that immigration policies need to be fixed to keep Americans safer, but the border wall was nothing but an empty campaign promise from President Trump.

Throughout his campaign and into his presidency, Trump has promised that Americans will not pay for the border wall.

When Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, he told media the Mexican government will “absolutely” pay for the wall. Peña Nieto has repeatedly declined this request.

"This bill is an admission that Mexico will not pay for this wall,” Hoyer said. “It's another example of Trump talked a big game about making deals, but in the end he was full of hot air."

Democrats are also pointing fingers at their Republican counterparts and accusing them of simply “soothing Trump’s ego,” California Congressman Pete Aguilar said.

"House Republicans have shown they are better prepared to cater to Donald Trump than they are the American people who put them in office,” Aguilar said. “This bill should be about funding defense priorities, not cleaning up after President Trump's failure."

Congressmen Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas and Adriano Espaillat of New York objected to the moral concept of separating the two countries that share so much culture.

"No wall can obstruct the aspirations of people,” Espaillat said.

Both congressmen criticized the border wall, saying walls were a thing of the past and pointed to examples like the Berlin Wall.

They argued that the border wall was not only expensive and unnecessary but would cause an economic blockade and hinder the global market.

In the letter to Sessions, Democrats said that sneaking in the border wall without an up-or-down vote would force them into a position of choosing between voting for the wall or voting for military funding.

“This is a sham and a shame at the same time that Paul Ryan and Republicans are again using tax payer money to feed a shallow idea of how you bring border security,” Gallego said.

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Lindsay Moore