Border wall

Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows Supports Asset Forfeiture, National Emergency Declaration to Fund Wall

You know, for a caucus called "freedom"...



Rep. Mark Meadows (R–N.C.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted on Friday morning that President Trump should "use asset forfeiture money or other discretionary fees to start construction" on the wall, and declare a national emergency if Democrats won't negotiate.

Because nothing screams freedom like the president using ill-gotten gains to pay for a public works project the legislature has refused to authorize.

In an interview with POLITICO, Meadows sounded a bit more concerned about setting a bad precedent that would empower future executive branches to sidestep Congress and act unilaterally, but noted Trump "would find broad support if it's determined that ultimately he has to do it."

That's a fairly damning statement. According to its bio, the House Freedom Caucus purportedly supports "open, accountable & limited government, the Constitution & the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety & prosperity of all Americans." One might expect more of its members to recongize that Trump's proposed course of action violates many of these principles and weakens them in the long term.

Unfortunately, the caucus is largely supportive of Trump doing whatever he wants. From that same POLITICO story:

Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) urged Trump to make the emergency declaration in an op-ed in the Daily Caller, while Rep. Mark Green, a freshman and newly minted Freedom Caucus member, is also girding for action on securing the border.

"I support whatever means it takes to get it done," the Tennessee Republican told Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs. "We have a crisis at the southern border. It's time to act."

"Whatever it takes to get it done" and "time to act" are not phrases associated with constrained government and the protection of individual liberty. But with the noted exception of the uncommonly principled Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.)—who is also a member of the much more libertarian (and much smaller) Liberty Caucus—this group of legislators ostensibly dedicated to preserving freedom seem perfectly willing to jettison their priorities if they stand in the way of Donald Trump and his wall.