President Donald Trump’s proposed Border Wall has been met with criticism and praise from both sides of the aisle. Recently, it has reared its ugly head back into the media spotlight.
During the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. During their meeting, which the press was allowed to attend, one reporter asked President Trump if he still expected Mexico to pay for the wall. Trump responded with, “absolutely.” Mexican officials commented that President Peña Nieto did not hear Trump’s response to the reporter and no further talks about the wall happened in private.
In news more close to home, our own District 11 Representative Mark Meadows has made it clear that there are enough votes in the United States Congress to stop any budget bill that does not include funding for the wall. If an agreement is not reached on a proposed budget, he says the government could shut down on October 1st.
In a statement to Breitbart News, Meadows commented, “my conversations with the president have led me to believe that there is nothing less than a full and total commitment on his part to only sign into law a funding bill that actually allows for us to start construction of a border wall on our southern border.”
As stated above, President Trump made it very clear he intended for Mexico to pay for the wall, a promise he made during his campaign for president. However, he seems to have a problem figuring out if Mexico or the American people are going to pay for it.
In his first proposed budget bill, he set aside $1 billion dollars for said wall, claiming the American tax payers would pay for the wall, then Mexico would get the bill. He has then stated that Mexico will pay, “in some form,” which is in line with many other vague statements the President has made.
Trump’s vagueness to who is paying for the wall seems to be enough for Meadows to jump on board the bandwagon, claiming “nothing [is] more critical that has to be funded than funding the border wall.”
According to a March 2017 report, the southwest border patrol recorded only 12,193 seizures and apprehensions. The highest recorded apprehension and seizure number peaked back in 2000, at 1.6 million. In 17 years, the number has drastically decreased.
Apparently, Meadows forgot about his constituents in Swain County when making such a statement. Swain County has been in a legal battle with the federal government, filling a lawsuit to collect $38.2 million it was owed in a previous settlement, to rebuild the North Shore Road which connects Bryson City to Tennessee. According to Meadows, who has claimed many times he is fighting for these funds, the current budget does not include the $38.2 million to North Shore Road and that the issue isn’t even in the, “top 50 in terms of priorities in terms of the budget.”
So while Meadows has stated that the border wall is the most critical of issues to be funded, he fails to fight for the people who helped put him in office. Is he threatening to shutdown the government for a payout his constituents in Swain County have been waiting for since 2010? No. He is threatening to shutdown the government for a border wall that a) is clearly not needed if the number of apprehensions is sharply decreasing and b) is a great mystery about who is paying for it.
Clearly, the people of Swain County have been given a clear and direct message: Meadows is working for the best interest of Donald Trump, not the district who elected him.