Trump Makes Shutdown Almost Inevitable

Trump Makes Shutdown Almost Inevitable December 21, 2018

After going back and forth several times, Trump said on Thursday that he would not sign a Senate Continuing Resolution that would have kept the government open through February if it doesn’t include funding for his border wall. So the House quickly passed a bill that would include that funding, but his rapidly shifting stance made a shutdown on Friday night virtually inevitable.

House Republican leaders hurried to appease the president, pulling together a bill that would keep the government funded through Feb. 8 while also allocating $5.7 billion for the border wall. The House bill included an additional nearly $8 billion for disaster relief for hurricanes and wildfires.

The legislation passed the House on a near-party-line vote of 217-185 Thursday night, over strident objections from Democrats who criticized the wall as immoral and ineffective and declared the legislation dead on arrival in the Senate. No Democrats voted for the House measure, and eight Republicans voted against it.

But barely 24 hours away from a shutdown set to start at the end of Friday, the House vote only hardened Washington’s budget impasse: Democrats have the Senate votes to block any bill that includes funding for Trump’s wall, and Trump says he’ll veto any bill that doesn’t.

And most of the Senate has already gone home for the holidays. They passed the continuing resolution based on Trump saying earlier this week that he was willing to put the border wall fight off until next year, so they thought they were done for the year. It won’t pass the Senate even if they can get enough people back to get a quorum and hold a new vote and the government partially shuts down on Friday night without it passing (some agencies are already funded, others aren’t). And since Trump has already said that he would be proud to shut down the government over this, all the blame goes to him (though he’ll try to shift it, of course).

Republicans in Congress must be beside themselves. He took three different positions on this issue in the course of five days and his latest change in position appears to have been brought about by watching right-wing TV and not wanting to take criticism from his base. But remember, he’s the Greatest Negotiator the World Has Ever Seen (just ask him). The truth is he doesn’t have the first clue what he’s doing, as usual. And this is all going to blow up in his face because he is on video saying that he accepts full responsibility for it. Okay, if you say so.

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