Why will US banks be forced to make payments to Mexican drug cartels?
The US federal government is expected to announce a new policy this week aimed at stopping US banks from charging drug cartels for remittances.
The Treasury Department is set to announce the new policy at a news conference this week.
A number of states have already announced they would stop doing business with banks that are not cooperating with the government in its crackdown on money laundering.
In the case of Mexico, the announcement could potentially lead to the loss of millions of dollars for the drug cartels.
But some experts believe that the government will be unable to implement the new directive without Congress’ approval.
“It’s a very difficult question,” said Richard Haass, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former deputy assistant secretary of treasury under President George W. Bush.
“If Congress is not going to pass a law and if the Trump administration is not willing to make good on its threats to withhold the money from banks, then the Trump Administration will have to use its authority under the National Security Act of 1947 to get the Treasury Department to do its bidding.”
But the question is whether Congress will be willing to do so.
Congressional Democrats are unlikely to support such a move, given their distrust of Trump and his administration, and the fact that they have so far not had a chance to pass legislation on remittance.
A majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives, for example, voted to pass an omnibus spending bill that includes a provision to block the Trump Treasury Department from issuing money to Mexican cartels.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he expects the administration to be able to get its hands on money, even if it is not directly from Mexico.
“I think that there’s a real possibility that it could come out of the Treasury department,” Ryan said during a Tuesday appearance on CNN.
“But it will be difficult for us to pass something like that without Congress getting involved.”
But many Republicans are more skeptical.
Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said that it is too early to say if the new strategy will actually help.
“They’re going to have to make a decision,” Cotton said.
“And the way I see it is, they need to have a plan that addresses this, and I think there are some good options out there, and it’s too early for me to make that decision.”
Cotton’s criticism came in the midst of a feud between the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump “did not personally authorize the payments” in a letter to the House Appropriations Committee.
But a number of congressional Republicans have said that the payments, which are set to run out on September 30, are unconstitutional because they are in direct conflict with federal law.
A new report published on Tuesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics found that of the $4.2 billion that has been remitted through the US Treasury to drug cartels since 2016, $1.1 billion has been paid to US citizens.
That money is supposed to be used to fund the salaries and benefits of US soldiers, the military’s humanitarian aid, the salaries of US military personnel and contractors, and military equipment.
It’s not clear exactly how much money has been transferred to Mexican criminals.
But one thing is certain: the Trump-led Treasury Department has been running up a huge bill, with payments of $20 billion per month to Mexican traffickers in the last year alone.
The White House has defended the payments by pointing to other examples of their effectiveness.
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Marshals Service have been using remittals as a means to fight human trafficking and drug trafficking, and have successfully reduced trafficking of illegal drugs and other illegal goods through the remittance system, according to a Treasury Department report released last year.
But the White National Security Council has said that remittanced payments are an ineffective way to fight illegal immigration.
The administration has also said that sending money through the banking system does not significantly increase the risk of crime, because banks do not have to keep records of all the money that they send out.
So far, only one major bank has begun to stop sending money out of its system.
HSBC, the largest bank in the world, has agreed to stop doing so, and has also started allowing US citizens to send money through its system, although the payments will still be available until September 30.
Still, the Obama administration had been trying to get banks to stop making money from drug traffickers.
In 2016, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told a Senate subcommittee that the administration had collected $3.4 billion in payments through the bank-to-bank remittance program since 2010.
The Trump administration has not made a formal announcement on the new remittance policy, but in February, Treasury spokesperson Rachel Stoltenberg said that “the Department continues to pursue a variety of options, including sanctions against banks that