Sen. Cassidy: Make drug lords pay for wall
By Greg Hillburn
February 4, 2019
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy has filed a bill he believes could “break the logjam” of America’s southern border controversy by making Mexican drug lords and cartels pay for a wall — sort of.
Cassidy, R-La., wants to use the nearly $1 billion seized annually from illegal drug trafficking at the border to build a physical barrier as well as finance other improvements. He introduced the Securing the Border and Making Drug Cartels Pay for It Act Friday.
A team of Congressional Republicans and Democrats has a self-imposed Friday deadline to come up with a plan to avert a second federal government shutdown or President Trump declaring a national emergency to pay for a southern border wall.
“This gives the negotiating team an option on the table to hopefully break the logjam,” Cassidy said Monday morning in an interview with USA Today Network.
Louisiana’s senior senator criticized Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying she is obstructing any compromise.
“Clearly, Pelosi wants to block everything, so this is a way maybe to accomplish border security without Congress having to appropriate the money,” he said.
“This money would have lined the pockets of criminals and international drug lords, but we can use it to secure our border and stop the flow of drugs,” he said. “It won’t be the American people paying for the wall, it’ll be the Mexican cartels, and that is poetic justice.
“The more we secure the border, the more illicit money we will capture, so it will actually compound our success. Republicans and Democrats agree strategic barriers work. If Pelosi won’t give a dollar to keep Americans safe, let’s take billions from the cartels.”