Olivier Douliery/Abaca/TNS via ZUMA
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The shutdown crisis is over:
President Trump is speaking at an event in the Rose Garden, where his acting chief of staff says he will announce that he will sign spending legislation to avert a government shutdown and at the same declare a national emergency with the aim of securing about $6.5 billion more to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval.
….Trump is eyeing about $600 million from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund and $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program, according to officials. In addition, the president wants to use $3.6 billion in military construction funds to help build his new border barriers. Of the different pots of money, White House officials believe only a military construction account requires a national emergency designation.
Maybe some budget expert can help us out here. My first question is: What’s the point? There are only seven months left in the fiscal year, and I doubt Trump could spend $6 billion in seven months even if nothing (i.e., lawsuits) stood in his way. Second: What was the Pentagon planning to do with this money? A mere few months ago we were being told that our military was in such dire ramshackle shape that it desperately need a huge budget increase. Did that turn out not to be true? Were they wasting so much money that they won’t even notice that they’re losing $6 billion? Inquiring minds want to know.