Houston - This week’s panel: Wayne Dolcefino, media consultant; Carmen Roe, Houston attorney Bill King, former mayoral candidate, businessman and columnist, Charles Blain, Urban Reform; Tomaro Bell, super neighborhood leader, and Antonio Diaz-, writer, educator and radio host join Greg Groogan to talk about the latest shift in funding for the border wall.
AP FACT CHECK, February 15, 2020
TRUMP: “You do know who’s paying for the wall, don’t you? Redemption from illegal aliens that are coming. The redemption money is paying for the wall.” — New Hampshire rally Monday.
THE FACTS: To date, the money is coming from the U.S. treasury, meaning today’s taxpayers and the future ones who will inherit the federal debt. To the extent any people who came into the U.S. illegally are kicking in for the wall, it’s because they’re working and paying taxes like other workers.
“Redemption” payments don’t exist; Trump apparently meant to cite remittances. That refers to money that immigrants in the U.S. send to their countries of origin, often to family members. Trump has at various times talked about taxing or blocking such money but that has not been done.
Mexico flatly refused at the outset to pay for the wall. That has given rise to creative formulations by the president about how Mexico in some way is contributing. For example, he has projected that his updated trade agreement with Mexico and Canada will stimulate enough extra growth over the years to cover the cost. Even if that happens, which analysts widely doubt, the wall will have cost the U.S. money that it could have used for something else. It’s not a payment from Mexico.
Trump freed up $3.6 billion for the wall last year by diverting money from military construction projects as well as $2.5 billion from approved counter-drug spending.
MUNICH, Germany (AP) - February 14, 2020 U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is defending his decision to divert billions of dollars from the Pentagon budget to help build President Donald Trump's long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Pentagon chief said Friday the move announced Thursday is legal and should not have been a surprise. Esper was responding to a reporter's question about criticism from members of Congress who called the diversion of money from its intended purpose a violation of Congress' constitutional authority to determine how tax dollars are appropriated and spent. Esper spoke on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich. Trump repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico refused.