California Assemblyman Aims to Push Back Against Trump’s Border Wall

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SACRAMENTO -- President Donald Trump is stepping on hostile ground in California, politically speaking.

The governor and the majority of both houses at the State Capitol are Democrats and, predictably, they are putting up resistance to White House politics.

On Tuesday, Trump demonstrated his support for a wall along the U.S. and Mexican border.

Prototypes of a border wall have already been produced at taxpayers' expense. But there were initially 375 companies interested in building the wall. Trump has asked Congress for $20 billion to extend and build a border wall.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco has introduced a bill that would deny California tax credits to contractors and sub-contractors who participate in the project. His reasoning is that most Californians oppose the wall, and tax breaks are incentives that come out of the pockets of state taxpayers.

"It's standing up for California values. We have over 70 percent of Californians who are absolutely opposed to building a border wall that won't work," Ting told FOX40. "We are trying to incentivize good behavior, and this is behavior that we don't agree with at a state level."

There are five tax credits that would be denied, including credits for manufacturing, alternative energy and tax breaks for companies that relocate or expand in California.

As a practical matter, it’s unknown whether denying the credits would discourage a company from bidding on the project. But it certainly sends a message that Trump already knows -- that California, or at least California Democrats, aren’t on board with his border wall strategy for keeping illegal immigrants out of the U.S.

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Others lawmakers fear the results of the president’s tax cut plan because it will hurt efforts to help the homeless and build affordable housing by reducing building subsidies.

“Trump’s cuts will leave about four to five thousand housing units a year being lost in California," said Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose.

Beall has introduced a bill that allocates $2 billion for low and moderate income housing and to help the homeless. It has the backing of half a dozen lawmakers who say there is a housing crisis.

“You can’t be a great state if you need to earn $100,000 a year to afford rent or make a million dollars a year to buy a house," said Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

The proposal is only made possible by an unexpected state surplus in the budget that may not be there in the coming years. They say as long as Trump is in the White House, the housing situation won’t get any better.

"In the next two to three years there won’t be anything coming from Washington or any state in the United States," Beall said. "We know that. So let's make up the difference, let’s pick up the slack in California and don’t let anybody get harmed."

If the president moves ahead with his project it is expected to take three years. Right now getting the money to pay for it is the sticking point.

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