The border wall with Mexico raises its head again as a political problem on U.S. soil
More than anything else, two matters associated with Mexico appear to be political determinants in the U.S. Congress.
The border wall with Mexico is raising its head again as a political problem, while the path seems to be paved for ratifying the new agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada in Congress.
Controversy surrounding the financing of President Donald Trump's proposed border wall could be, like last year, the crux of a legislative dispute, despite the intention to prevent a temporary government shutdown, like the one that lasted 35 days between December 2018 and January 2019.
Almost three years after the start of his presidency, Trump remains committed to building the border wall, a cornerstone of his 2016 election campaign as well as his current one. For the first two years, his budget requests for the wall were dismissed by a Congress controlled entirely by Republicans. Today, at least, the Democratic opposition has a majority in the House of Representatives, and the resulting clash keeps the request for budget funds at a standstill; so much so that U.S. government workers admitted last week that the bulk of new border construction has been the renovation of preexisting fence segments.
Trump has stressed his intention to continue the fence's construction and alleged national security concerns in order to divert resources designated to other projects. But that measure has led to other lawsuits for a variety of issues, from environmental impact to land ownership.
Legislative approval of the budget is unlikely, but this time, there seems to be an intent to set the issue aside to prevent it from becoming a major obstacle. In contrast, U.S. ratification of the new commercial agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, in place of the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, now looks possible before the end of the year.
According to Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an agreement with the White House around the wording of the trade pact is “imminent” and could happen before the end of the month, which would allow its passage to the Senate and formal ratification.
In both cases, domestic policy interests are at stake.
First, the problem faced by Trump’s administration is largely a result of the diversion of predetermined resources to other projects of interest to legislators. The second problem involves the Democratic desire not to drive away moderate sectors that benefit from regional trade.
If, in the first case, there is a reluctance to invest billions of dollars in a wall that experts consider useless, in the second it’s all about carrying out an agreement that, according to The Washington Post, is in the best interest of the country and, above all, the stability of the regional economy.