The bad joke Vladimir Putin played on the American electorate in 2016 seems like it will never end, but it does have its genuinely amusing moments. For example, this tweet:
I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms? Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018
On Tuesday, the Senate approved the conference report with the House by a bipartisan 93-7 majority for funding the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments next year. The leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama and Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont each issued press releases praising the bill and the work of the committee staff in putting it all together.
This kind of bipartisan cooperation still goes on in Congress because, on the Senate side, there is still a legislative filibuster in place requiring that the majority party get sign-off from the minority party on their spending bills. That’s why, even with Trump as president and Republicans in charge of Congress, Senator Leahy can legitimately crow about some of the funding he was able to provide.
The best part of the bill, though, at least from an amusement standpoint, is that it included a continuing resolution to keep the rest of the government agencies funded through the election. In other words, the bill was designed to cut off the kind of standoff about Donald Trump’s stupid border wall that he was promising earlier this year. If Trump paid even a modest amount of attention to doing his primary job, this would not have come as a surprise to him and he would not be responding, “Where is the money for the WALL?”
There is no money for the wall. The Republicans in Congress made sure of that, and it seems the bill was passed through the Senate before the president even noticed. Of course, based on Bob Woodward’s reporting, you could probably make off with the First Lady and Trump wouldn’t notice something was missing for several weeks. Attention to detail is not his forté.
The House still needs to pass the conference report, and they plan to do so next week. That means Trump can still try to revive his veto threat if he wants, but the Senate passed the bill be a very strong veto-proof majority so I think it’s a little late for the president to try to influence the final product.
He does have a good point when he asks where the money will come from after the midterms. Even if the Republicans hold on to their majorities, they will be greatly diminished in the House and it doesn’t seem likely that Senate Republicans will suddenly have more of an appetite for funding a stupid wall.
Maybe you don’t think this is so funny, but surely you’ll see the humor in this:
On Tuesday, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell claimed that Trump suggested building a wall across the 3,000-mile-long Sahara Desert to prevent African migrants from making their way into Europe. “You need to build a wall around the Sahara,” Trump said recently, according to Borrell. When Borrell asked Trump if he understood just how big the Sahara is, Trump argued that “it can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico.” Borrell then informed Trump that the Sahara is far bigger than the U.S. border with Mexico. “In any case, it wouldn’t be very useful to do that,” Borrell told the president.
Trump is the joke that just keeps on giving.