It was one of the key planks in Donald Trump’s election campaign.
Now, thanks to all of you who voted for him, as President he has the opportunity to make good on that promise.
And he is.
Unlike the vast majority of other politicians who forget their election pledges the moment they are elected, President Trump is proving to be a man of his word.
His opponents, including the mainstream media, are in deep shock.
In his first television interview as Homeland Security secretary, retired four-star Marine Gen. John F. Kelly told Fox News that he wants the U.S.-Mexico border wall finished in two years.
It’s an ambitious schedule for an ambitious project.
Kelly said, “The wall will be built where it’s needed first, and then it will be filled in.”
“Any discussion about the protection of our southwest border involves discussion of physical barriers but also of technological sensors, things like that,” he continued. “But it’s a layered approach, and it’s got to be backed up by great men and women who are going to make sure that the wall is intact.”
There aren’t any final costings yet, but the figure is likely to be in the $10 to $15 billion range.
Mexico will eventually foot the bill, through import tariffs on goods they sell to the U.S., an increase in visa and border-crossing card fees, and so forth – but in the meantime the money will be made available from government.
Speaker Ryan has already stated that, “[President Trump] will have the funding to do it and he already has the authorization to do it.”
So, the money is coming. The only question is when.
Ryan is talking about getting it into the FY2018 budget in order to keep from destabilizing the upcoming talks on finishing off the FY2017, which have already been delayed.
But it is doubtful if the normal grinding of the government wheels will be fast enough for the new President.
Waiting for at least nine months for Congress to act would also leave much of the project incomplete by the time the midterm elections and by that time the Republicans will want to have demonstrated that they are delivering on their promises.
It is in everyone’s interest to get that wall built as soon as possible.