Make Sure the Only Wall Trump Gets Is a Wall-of-Us!

  • Week of April 2, 2017

It looks like we have got Trump’s back against the Wall-of-Us. To understand why, have some coffee and bear with us as we explain the kinda boring federal budgeting process. It's important. 

The current bill funding all of the federal government (a continuing resolution, an extension of last year’s budget) expires on April 28th. There are just ten legislative days before that funding runs out. The normal federal budget process goes something like this: the President sends a budget request to Congress in February for the coming fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1. This sets off a complex and lengthy approval process that includes deliberations by many Congressional Committees, resolutions, debates, reconciliation, and votes by Congress, and ends with final approval by the President. But October 1 is six months away. To keep our government running in the meantime, Congress and the President will need to agree on a stop-gap budget by April 28.

Here’s the clincher: one of Trump’s first and signature campaign promises was to build a wall along the border with Mexico, and he wants to deliver. Even though he claimed that Mexico would pay for it, Trump is asking Congress now for $33 billion in new defense and border spending — and $18 billion in cuts to other priorities, such as medical research, the State Department, grants for transportation, infrastructure and housing.

As it turns out, April 29th is Trump’s 100th day in office. On that day, Trump faces three losing scenarios

1. Trump will drop his current request for funding for the wall (and break a campaign promise); or
2. Trump will insist on his request for funding for the wall, but the Republicans won’t agree to it, causing another rift between the President and his party (also resulting in an inability by Trump to fulfill a campaign promise); or
3. Trump will convince the Republicans to insist on funding for the wall, a “deal-breaker” for Democrats (who need to vote in favor of the resolution), resulting in a government shut-down.

Trump described his wall as “powerful, tall, beautiful, impenetrable…” It sure sounds a lot like the Wall-of-Us he is getting instead! All-of-us must make sure that is the only wall that gets built. 

Here’s how:

1. First, do some pre-work this week for the upcoming Spring Recess. Understand Trump’s proposed budget by watching this video. (5 minutes)

2. Understand the appropriations process by reading this resource on appropriations and this one on budget reconciliation from our friends at Indivisible. (5 minutes)

3. Watch Robert Reich’s Bonkers Budget video to understand more about Trump’s budget. (2.5 minutes)

4. Then, call your Senators and ask them to oppose any funding for Trump’s wall. Ask them to vote against the wall, even if that means the government must shut down on April 29th. Use this script. (10 minutes)