Mexican president cancels White House meeting after Trump pushes forward with his wall plan
Our newly inaugurated president is sticking by his campaign promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and make our southern neighbor pay for it, which the Mexican president is understandably not happy about. On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a meeting at the White House planned for next week, tweeting, “This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the POTUS.”
Of course, President Nieto’s tweet sent President Trump into a frenzy, and he quickly posted, “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” He also reiterated his belief that the U.S. needs the wall because of a major trade deficit with Mexico, writing, “The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers… of jobs and companies lost.” However, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded when asked about the cancelled meeting, “We’ll look for a date to schedule something in the future. We will keep the lines of communication open.”
The day the trip was cancelled, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell estimated that building Trump’s wall would cost about $12-15 billion. BILLION. Duh Mexico doesn’t want to pay for it.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order (one of many harmful orders already signed) directing the construction of the wall. The order doesn’t allocate any money for said construction, and the new president stands by his claim that Mexico will pay for it, though his transition team said earlier in January that it would be funded through the appropriations process and Mexico would allegedly pay back Congress later. “The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!” Trump eloquently tweeted at the time.
McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Congress will pay for the wall and Trump can deal with trying to force a foreign country to pay for it if he wants. “We intend to address the wall issue ourselves,” McConnell told reporters at a GOP retreat in Philadelphia.
Ryan explained that he expects Congress to address the wall in a supplemental funding bill after receiving a formal request from Trump, but claimed it won’t add to the federal deficit without explaining how that’s possible.