After years of debate, U.S. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has finally and successfully helped acquire federal money for a wall — in Iowa.
We’re talking about a $117 million flood wall in Cedar Rapids.
Alexander, according to that city’s primary newspaper, The Gazette, has political connections to Cedar Rapids’ former mayor Ron Corbett.
When asked Monday, Alexander’s spokesman Ashton Davies did not comment to The Tennessee Star on whether her boss is committed to federal funding for another type of wall. This is a wall many of his Tennessee constituents have long clamored for.
That other wall, of course, is one along the Mexican border.
But Alexander was reportedly happy to push for the wall in Iowa.
According to The Gazette, a 2008 flood caused $5.4 billion in damages to Cedar Rapids. Federal aid was not immediately forthcoming.
Over the years, federal representatives worked with a lobbyist to help get the money. But, as the paper went on to say, assistance did not come through until last July.
The Gazette then reported that Corbett knew Alexander, who chairs the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.
“When Alexander ran for president in 1996, Corbett campaigned for him during the caucuses and remembered him positively,” according to the paper.
The Gazette then quoted Corbett as saying “old political connections can help with efforts later.”
Alexander’s interest in the Cedar Rapids project helped, the paper said.
As for the proposed wall along the Mexican border, it seems Alexander’s interest is far less keen.
The Tennessean quoted Alexander as saying he did not support President Donald Trump’s call to shut down the federal government over funding for a border wall.
Alexander will not seek reelection in 2020.
According to The Chattanooga Times Free Press, Alexander said the best way to resolve the stalemate is for the feds to provide money for border security at ports of entry and to define the legal status for those already here.
Trump has argued for the necessity of a border wall, saying it will deter illegal border crossings and reduce crime.
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