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AG Sessions: If government shuts down, it’s Dems’ fault

AG Sessions: If government shuts down, it’s Dems’ fault

Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated Monday that funding for a wall on the U.S. – Mexico border remains a top priority for the Trump administration and that Mexico will pay for it in some form. Speaking on “Fox & Friends,” the attorney general flatly said that Congress has the ability and mandate from the American people to build the wall.

“What we need to do is remind Congress and the American people that this president promised this, they voted for it in large numbers,” Sessions said. “It was one of the great strengths of his campaign.”

Sessions offered several general ideas to fund the wall and fulfill the president’s promise to “make Mexico pay for it.” Among the ideas Sessions floated was some arrangement of “fees” placed on migrant workers, possibly a reference to President Trump’s previous proposal to tax remittances (cash transfers from migrant workers back to their homeland).

The attorney general also spoke of fixing a “tax abuse situation.” Republicans are toying with the idea of including a “border-adjustment tax” in their tax reform package, ostensibly to help fund border priorities.

A main point of Sessions’ argument, however, is that regardless of what funding schemes are used for the wall in the short term, in the long term, the wall will pay for itself. How? According to Sessions, reduced illegal immigration as a result of tighter border security will lead to reduced costs to border enforcement, law enforcement, and social programs that currently support illegal aliens and/or their children.

Sessions touted the fact that in President Trump’s first month, illegal immigration from Mexico has fallen 40 percent from where it was under President Obama.

“We’re going to continue to see this rapid decline in the number of people that are coming into our country illegally,” Sessions said. As a result, “housing, deportation costs, all kinds of costs will be reduced when we reduce that flow,” he added.

Yet Democrats are unwilling even to engage in a discussion on border-wall funding. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has threatened a government shutdown over the issue, which he calls a “poison pill” in the upcoming omnibus.

"If they put these poison pill amendments in and try to shove them down the American people’s throat," Schumer said in March, "of course they might be responsible for shutting the government down."

Jeff Sessions squarely placed the blame for a potential shutdown on the Democrats.

“Let me tell you, it will be the Democrats who shut this government down to block the funding of the wall,” Sessions said. “Are they going to shut the government down? We’ll have a bill moving forward with some money in there for the wall, and it will be up to Congress to pass it.”

“If the Democrats filibuster that, and block it, they’re the ones shutting the whole government down just to keep the wall from being built. No doubt about it.”

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