An Iraqi soldier holds up the Koran (the Muslim bible) and a white flag as he surrenders to Saudi and American forces inside Kuwait on Monday, Feb. 25, 1991. Large numbers of prisoners were taken from fortified Iraqi positions by the allied forces in this operation along the coast highway north of the Kuwait-Saudi Arabia border. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)
There is the old saying in poker, that when you sit down at the table if you can’t recognize the mark, you’re the mark. If that is true, then Republican budget negotiators have spent the last month in a two-man poker game with the Democrats and they were never able to spot the mark.
The negotiations started out simple enough. For the administration, the issue was a request for approximately $5 billion to fund border wall construction that was not included in the appropriations bill. In true GOP form, the result was somewhere between abject surrender and, to borrow the expression from Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, having a buggery train run on the GOP negotiators. Truth be told, it was much closer to the latter than the former. Mere surrender would be a victory compared to what happened.
The deal includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of fences along the border, compared with $5.7 billion Trump had sought for more than 200 miles of walls. The deal omits a strict new cap Democrats had sought on immigrants detained within the United States — as opposed to at the border. At the same time, it limits overall levels of detention beds maintained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, although GOP aides said ICE would have enough money and flexibility to maintain its current detention levels and add more when needed.
The agreement reached tonight would include:
-$1.375b for border barriers (55 new miles of bollard fencing)
-Dems drop call for new cap on ICE beds for detentions in interior
-Overall cap on detention beds drops from 49,057 to 40,520
Per congressional official.
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) February 12, 2019
NEWS: Deal includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers.
Also, 40,520 overall ICE beds, roughly 17% drop from current levels.
— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) February 12, 2019
More info on barrier, per a congressional source:
• Prohibitions on use of concrete wall or other Trump Wall prototypes. Only “existing technologies” for border barriers can be built– the same things that were built before President Trump.
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) February 12, 2019
Savor this. Our “negotiators” went in trying to get $5 billion added to the budget…this amount is what is known in federal budget parlance as a “rounding error.” They left with a quarter of that amount and, along the way, they cut ICE internal enforcement shelter capacity by 17% and limited the type of wall that can be constructed.
Sean Hannity has the analysis of this deal down pat:
The genesis of this self-humiliation is in this statement:
The agreement came together during intense hours of closed-door negotiations at the Capitol, as lawmakers resurrected talks that had fallen apart over the weekend in a dispute over new Democratic demands to limit immigrant detention. Democrats ultimately dropped some of those demands, which had come under fire from Republicans, clearing the way for a deal. [Ummm…no they didn’t.]
Hurdles remained, and Trump’s ultimate backing was in doubt after quick opposition emerged from conservatives. But lawmakers on both sides said they were motivated to find agreement by the looming specter of another government shutdown Friday night, three weeks after the last one ended.
“What brought us back together I thought, tonight, was we didn’t want that to happen,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), the lead Republican in the talks.
If you go into any negotiation…buying a house, choosing a spouse, a job offer, a business deal, the federal budget…and you don’t have the guts to stand up and walk away from the table, then you aren’t negotiating, you are essentially a crack ho on the corner. You’re going to take what you are offered and you deserve everything that happens to you.
Back during the 2012 shutdown scare, I posted on this exact same behavior by Republicans using a clip from one of my favorite movies.
I hope President Trump is listening to voices who recognize this so-called deal for what it is. It is worse than a total capitulation, it actually requires ICE to put criminal aliens back on the street. If President Trump can’t veto this bill, like the crack ho, he has whatever happens coming.
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