Kushner Builds the Wall?
Jared Kushner has perhaps the longest honey-do list of any husband in the history of humanity. Since joining his father in law’s administration in 2017, he’s been tasked with diplomacy with Mexico, diplomacy with China, solving the opioid epidemic, reforming veterans’ healthcare, reforming the criminal justice system, transforming the entire federal government to run like a business and, oh yeah, negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine.
And you thought cleaning the gutters was a pain.
Now, President Trump has laid yet another monumental task at Kushner’s feet, and this one may be his most important thus far, at least in terms of his father-in-law’s political future. Mr. Kushner is now in charge of overseeing border wall construction.
According to myriad outlets who have not received pushback from the White House, Kushner has taken the lead on the wall construction project, which includes biweekly meetings covering the progress of the wall, contractor data, the location of the wall and how funding is being used.
President Trump has not been happy with the current rate of progress on the wall, which is hardly surprising seeing as how he’s a private sector businessman who is not accustomed to the snaillike pace facilitated by government minutiae. As such, Kushner has reportedly become the president’s watchdog of sorts, hounding U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up the process of obtaining private land along the U.S.-Mexico border to build the wall.
The president’s goal is to build 450 miles of barrier along the border before the 2020 election. As of now, that looks to be a tall task, as more than 800 filings to seize private property must be filed before construction can even begin in many areas. The Fake News is reporting that agencies are “frustrated with Kushner’s lack of expertise along with his unreasonable demands in terms of construction speed.” One must take proclamations such as those with a grain of salt, however, as the government is instantly “frustrated” with anyone who attempts to light a fire under its rear end.
According to multiple seemingly legitimate reports, Kushner has attributed the delay in the wall construction to former chief of staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Knowing what we do now about the general insubordination surrounding the president over the last few years, Kushner’s view is not without merit.
As of today, the Trump administration has constructed about 83 miles of the wall, the vast majority of which being classified as “replacement wall.” To finish by the election, construction would need to move four times faster. It may be a pipe dream, but I would rather fail at meeting a lofty goal than succeed at maintaining a pitiful status quo.
I’ve had my issues with Jared Kushner since his arrival to the White House, but given the environment, he and the President deserve a chance to show what they can do. If I believed President Trump were delegating this responsibility out of apathy or ignorance, I would surely say so, just as I did when he gave the wall funding negotiation to Paul Ryan and proceeded to sign multiple trillion dollar budgets with next to zero wall funding. That doesn’t appear to be the case here, however, and intent does count for something. The President is going outside of the box in an effort to get a job done. I will support him in that endeavor regardless of my personal feelings toward any one person.
Good luck, Mr. President.
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