President Donald Trump has promised to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico Southern border and has taken action to do just that.
Although Trump signed a bill to extend government funding for another two weeks to avoid a government shutdown, he isn’t opposed to a shutdown to get Democrats to come to the table.
“This would be a very good time to do a shutdown,” said Trump last month.
“This is not something the president wants to do,” said Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, House majority leader on Fox News Sunday.
But he has said he is “willing to do anything.”
Republicans and Democrats have unable to come up with a compromise when it comes to border security. Trump has made it clear that the GOP isn’t willing to forgo the construction of the wall.
The President has signed five annual spending bills for 2019, but seven remain for funding for the State Department, NASA, the national parks, Homeland Security and other agencies.
Trump is seeking $5 billion for Homeland Security to fund the wall, while Democrats have agreed to a budget of $1.6 billion. The Democrats have also said they are willing to pass a measure to postpone the dispute.
“We’re in negotiation. We don’t get border security, possible shutdown,” said Trump earlier in the month.
Trump is aiming to have the wall budget included before the GOP loses House majority come January. So its crunch time for Trump with just a few weeks to get the budget for his wall and to achieve other GOP goals.
“The majority leader’s strategy is to pack everything in against the Christmas holidays as closely as he can so that there’s minimum fuss, and then try to put together a package that will get the votes to pass, and you just throw everything you can into it and put nothing that you can’t into it,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI “The last gasp of Republican monopoly control, I don’t think they want to be a Christmas shutdown. That just sends such an appalling message, so I think that gets solved.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the $5 billion budget for the wall hasn’t been a problem in his chamber.
“The House has the President’s $5 billion for the wall. The House is there. We have never been the issue here,” said Ryan. “But ultimately, the President and the Senate Democrats have to come to agreement as well. I think what we are going to have to do is sort all of this out between all of the parties that are involved.”
A few weeks ago Trump defended the need for an increase in the Homeland Security budget.
“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” said Trump. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave Border Patrol folks — I think that it’s a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So we have to have border security.”
He has said he remains “firm” on the $5 billion.
Author’s note: The shutdown comments are part of a negotiating technique. Trump wants to get as much done between now and the next Congress as possible. The wall was a campaign promise and he intends to keep it. He has made it clear that it is non-negotiable.
Editor’s note: Looks like negotiations are kicking in. But Trump is not that kind of negotiator, he is used to getting his way and he knows how. I believe Trump will get nearly all of it (and he already has a figure in mind…).