Monday, October 11, 2021

Trump, working to sign big spending bill for border wall, says there’s still time to secure chicken farmer payments

The President of the United States went to Seattle on Tuesday to sign an executive order that allows American farmers who have sold chickens to retailers since Jan. 1, 2008, to qualify for a payment as part of President Trump’s $12 billion in border security funding.

There is a catch, however: For taxpayers to recoup any of the money, the USDA has to certify that the chicken was sold before the beginning of the presidency, when Barack Obama was in the White House. Of the $12 billion, taxpayers may only have a bit more than $100 million for such payments. (That’s before any of the money is spent.)

The order follows multiple trips to Walmart stores and through doorways by the president.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in Walmart,” he said. “You’ve got a chicken going off to slaughter.”

The president said he had reviewed a number of different ideas, and that while China has said it is willing to bend over backward to help, Mexico still wanted to get paid “100 percent.”

The White House has said the money will fund a surge of troops and military equipment at the border, including 20,000 more border patrol agents, providing taller fencing along the border, and building a wall.

A Justice Department official indicated that two of the potential candidates for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Joe Arpaio, both of Arizona, will be on the border to show their support for the president’s plans. The duo will travel to El Paso with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Customs and Border Protection head Carla Provost.

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