Portions of the federal government are currently shut down as part of a standoff between President Donald Trump and Congress. The President stated that until he gets his border wall, he will keep the government shut down.
The United States Constitution puts all appropriated funds under the jurisdiction of the legislative branch. Some cite a violation of the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution when the President blackmails Congress for money.
Why is Congress reluctant to give Trump the money he demands for his pet project?
As pointed out in poll after poll, very few voters support Trump's wall. Chants at a Make America Great Again rally do not represent the will of the majority.
One of the mandates of Congress is to represent the people of their district. And those constituents do not want to spend $5.7 billion on a wall.
The latest poll, conducted by Business Insider, indicates the same result President Trump disregarded before: taxpayers still put his wall as a low spending priority.
Business Insider asked:
"What is the best use of $US5.7 billion in federal funding?"
They offered four options:
- "build a portion of a wall along the US-Mexico border"
- "fund pre-kindergarten programs for every child in the US for a year"
- "pay the healthcare expenses for roughly 530,000 Americans for a year"
- "fund infrastructure improvements"
Unsurprisingly, Trump's wall failed to garner the majority of support.
Spending the money to pay healthcare expenses was the top choice of 36% of respondents.
30% preferred infrastructure upgrades and repairs. Only 15% would spend money funding pre-K programs.
19% would fund Trump's border wall. The majority of that number comes from people who self-identify as conservative.
Business Insider reported:
- Those who identified as moderately or very conservative: 53% wanted the wall, 22% infrastructure improvements and 16% preferring healthcare.
- Those who only slightly leaned liberal or conservative or didn't identify with either political ideology, they preferred healthcare (39%) and infrastructure (32%), then pre-K (16%) and then the wall (13%).
- Those who identified as moderately or very liberal, only 2% want the wall, 49% preferred healthcare, 34% infrastructure and 14% pre-K.
24% of poll respondents identified as very to moderately conservative, 28% very toto moderate liberal and 36% as neither or only slightly liberal or conservative.
The poll results reinforce a core issue with the Trump presidency.
Those who support his wall are those who make up Trump rally attendees and his most ardent supporters. However they make up only about one quarter to one third of all voters.
A President represents their constituents, which means all of the United States. But Trump seems to base his decisions solely on the minority who still support him.
Reactions to the President's decision to shut down the government to force Congress to give him money show how unpopular it is with the public.
And illustrate why Congress is reluctant to acquiesce to his demands.
trump Says Fed Workers Want Him 2 Keep Fed SHUT DOWN Till HE GETS💰4 His Wall. Doesn’t He Know These PEOPLE ARE HOLD… https://t.co/RhSkuSz1Oh— Cher (@Cher) 1545978297.0
The unhinged president warned that if Dems do not agree to his demands to fund a wall on the southern border, he wi… https://t.co/hFjtHDxqBA— Democratic Coalition (@Democratic Coalition) 1546011939.0
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: "If Mexico is going to pay for it, go negotiate with Mexico. Instead what [President Trump ha… https://t.co/iBrpQGd1WT— The Hill (@The Hill) 1546012860.0
CNN reports the majority of Americans blame @realDonaldTrump for the shut down and only 38% support the #BorderWall… https://t.co/n1nh7kIVHs— 🖕🏻Aunt Crabby calls Bullshit 🖕🏻 (@🖕🏻Aunt Crabby calls Bullshit 🖕🏻) 1545824892.0
According to Trump, those effected by the shutdown would rather have a wall than a paycheck, except the people effe… https://t.co/CCyLe1ItqL— Tea Pain (@Tea Pain) 1545945542.0
And other polls also point to a lack of support for Trump's wall or his decision to shut down the government. Nor are most people blaming the Democrats as Trump hoped.
New Reuters poll: By 47-33, Americans blame @realDonaldTrump over Dems for government shutdown. Only 35% want wal… https://t.co/p1SjeTx2NE— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1545945300.0
The specter of a lengthy shutdown could hurt Trump’s already damaged image more than it would Democrats — especiall… https://t.co/ZPkBhDd61r— POLITICO (@POLITICO) 1546000860.0
Trump previously stated he would keep the government shut down until he gets his border wall funding. Now he claims he will close the United States southern border if he does not get what he wants.
However, despite Republicans controlling both the House and Senate since he took office, Trump blames Democrats for not giving him what he wants.
The President may find himself getting even less in the new year as Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.