Sen. Ted Cruz
How Sen. Cruz' graphics team spends its Mondays.
Since President Donald Trump's January election, his sweeping declaration that Mexico will pay for a giant border wall has awkwardly evolved into "Well, maybe we will pay for it but Mexico will pay for it one day, somehow."
That's an answer Sen. Ted Cruz has refused to accept. But since there is little the U.S. can do to force another country to pay for a $25 billion barrier they don't want, the Texas Senator came up with a novel solution
: Let's force Mexico's biggest drug lord to pay for it.
In a Tuesday statement
, Cruz introduced a bill
that would use the assets seized from Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (and other Mexican drug kingpins) to fund Trump's top campaign promise. The legislation would specifically swipe $14 billion in assets from Guzman — the longtime leader of the Sinola drug cartel who's since been extradited to the U.S. — to build the wall. Cruz gave the bill a catchy title: “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act" (or ELCHAPO Act).
“Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities," wrote Cruz in his statement. "By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and his ilk, we can offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives."
A small hiccup in Cruz' plan: The feds have yet to seize this $14 billion from Guzman. After being extradited to the U.S. in January, Guzman pleaded not guilty to a 17-count indictment that included charges of murder, money-laundering, use of firearms, and — of course — running Mexico's largest narcotics cartel. Some financial analysts doubt
Guzman even has that much to his name.
No Texas members of Congress
(from either party) that represent the borderlands has supported Trump's border wall proposal. In an interview with the Dallas Observer,
El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who recently announced his campaign
to replace Cruz in 2018, said this bill was just a scare tactic — and a huge waste of money.
“It doesn’t change the facts, which is that the border has never been safer, we have record low apprehensions...the U.S. cities along the U.S.-Mexico border are safer than the average U.S. city in the interior," O'Rourke said. "Any way you look at it, it's clear that there's no need for a wall."
But Cruz has marketed his plan as heroic. He told FOX News Wednesday morning, that "there's a sense of justice" in using drug money to fund a wall that will (allegedly) keep drug cartels out of the U.S.
Or maybe Cruz is just trying to make buying Mexican coke sound extremely patriotic.