WASHINGTON, D.C. – The partial shutdown of the federal government lives on, and neither President Donald Trump, or Democratic House Leaders, seem to be closing the gap on the border wall funding impasse.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is out today with a suggestion that doesn’t necessarily involve evoking the president’s emergency powers, although he keeps that option open as a last resort.
Democrats continue to refuse to negotiate in good faith or appropriate any money for border barriers. If they won’t compromise, POTUS should use asset forfeiture money or other discretionary fees to start construction. If not, he should declare a national emergency. It’s time.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 11, 2019
The federal government collects billions in asset forfeitures and, being the federal government, this money is bound to be spent away on something, sooner or later. As such, Meadows suggestion that we use that money to fund building more robust border barriers seems like a good use for it.
Many asset forfeitures come from drug busts, indirectly connecting those funds to the porous border and making their use for border walls relevant.
To be sure, the asset forfeiture powers of local, state, and federal governments are wildly abused and in many ways represent a direct assault on property rights. If you happen to be driving down the road with $10,000 in cash to buy a care, for instance, and are pulled over for speeding, then the police can (and do) take that cash under the pretense that it could have been used for something illegal. Getting the money back is massive challenge, even when you are 100 percent innocent of any nefarious activities. It’s simply wrong, and unconstitutional.
That being said, the asset forfeiture funds that currently reside in the federal government’s coffers are going to be allocated toward government spending in one way or another. They might as well use them to build a wall.