President Trump intends to take a stand when it comes to key issues like immigration and border security, government shutdown be damned.
And Democrats are baffled.
According to a Washington Post report released Thursday night, Trump has told advisers that such a shutdown would actually benefit him politically because he needs to be tough on immigration to win back supporters unhappy with the fact that he has reached out to Democrats.
The logic says that since Democrats intend to block every measure that includes funding for Trump’s proposed border wall, they would naturally be blamed for any shutdown that results.
However, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short thinks Trump isn’t necessarily hoping for a shutdown.
“He’s not advocating for a shutdown in any way. We want to make sure our military is funded. We want to make sure our priorities are funded. That’s why we invited [Democrats] over to have a conversation about a deal,” Short told reporters, according to the Washington Post.
In order to avoid a government shutdown, a new spending bill must be passed by December 8, although Republicans are hoping to delay the inevitable by passing a two-week spending bill to keep the government open through December 22. Another plan would extend the funding into January 2018, but House members would need to delay the start of their Christmas recess to pass it.
Democratic leaders have already blown off a Tuesday meeting between Trump and GOP congressional lawmakers to negotiate spending, leading to Trump signalling that Democratic obstruction on issues like crime reduction, defense spending, and the border wall could lead to a shutdown.
This could jeopardize any potential deal Democrats had hoped to make on DACA.
The Post opined: “Trump’s sudden shift is jeopardizing talks over exactly how much money should be spent by the federal government in the coming years and whether the new agreement might settle long-simmering immigration issues, lawmakers and aides said.”
At least one key Democratic negotiator, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is frustrated by President Trump because he had hoped for a compromise on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, but now thinks that may not happen.
“For months, almost a year, he was consistent when it came to this topic. Lately, not so much,” Durbin said. “But he has a tendency to move back and forth. We hope we catch him at a good moment.”
The Post piece noted that congressional Republicans and even White House officials “fret” about the possibility of a shutdown since it supposedly doesn’t poll well. But since Republicans need 60 votes to pass spending bills in the Senate, perhaps a government shutdown, and a clear case to the American people as to who is behind it, is just what the doctor ordered.
At least President Trump seems to think so.
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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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