Monday, April 24, 2017

Will the Government Shut Down Over Border Wall Funding?

Donald Trump is sticking with his "build the wall" con which his ignorant voters fell for during the election.  Missing, of course, from the carnival barker's calls is any serious recognition of (i) the true cost, or (ii) just how long any construction would take given the need to first go through lengthy and time consuming condemnation proceeds to acquire the needed land in many border areas. Seemingly, even some Republican members of Congress recognize the impracticality, true cost and time line of Der Trumpenführer's wall along the Mexico border even if his cretinous supporters do not.  Now, signs are that a federal government shut down may occur if Trump continues to demand funding for his exercise in placating racists.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at the possible show down.  Here are highlights (don't believe Trump's 3.5 year construction schedule since condemnation cases, if appealed, alone could take longer):
President Trump and White House officials pressed congressional Republicans on Sunday to use the looming threat of a government shutdown to win funding for a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico, a top priority for the administration as it nears the symbolic 100-day mark.
Trump wants funding to be included in a spending measure that would keep the government open past April 28, a determined effort that has prompted a possible standoff with lawmakers in both parties, who hope to avert a federal closure next weekend.
Trump’s push for fast action on his pledge to build the border wall is part of a mounting and, at times, tense scramble inside the administration to kick-start the president’s agenda, even if it risks dire political consequences.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said in an interview Sunday with The Washington Post that the president and his advisers remain “strong” in their commitment to securing funding for border security and a wall.
“This is what the president ran on,” Priebus said. “We want to get to a place this week where ­border-security money is being directed to the Department of Homeland Security so that we can begin surveillance and preliminary work, and then we will keep working on getting DHS what it needs for the structure.”
The Senate returns Monday night, and the House returns Tuesday from a two-week recess, leaving just three days when both chambers will be in session to wrangle out a funding agreement. Negotiators worked throughout the break, but thus far a deal has not been struck.
The wall, which experts say would cost $21.6 billion and take 3½ years to construct, has emerged as a crucial sticking point for the White House, with the president insisting privately and publicly that progress toward its funding and eventual construction must be showcased this week.
It remained unclear Sunday whether moderates within the GOP could persuade the White House to avoid a shutdown. Democrats have insisted that they will not vote for any spending bill that gives the White House money or flexibility to begin construction of a border barrier. They believe that the GOP will have to either abandon Trump’s demand or assume political responsibility if a shutdown occurs.
“The burden to keep it open is on the Republicans,” House ­Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Building a wall is not an answer.
The tweets did little to assuage concerns created earlier in the day when White House budget director Mick Mulvaney suggested that Trump might not sign a spending bill that does not meet his demands.
Democrats believe that voters will blame Trump for a shutdown, particularly if congressional leaders omit wall funding from a spending deal. Democrats and GOP leaders appeared to be nearing a spending agreement last week before Trump ramped up his demands.
Democrats and Republicans maintained common ground. One clear area of agreement was not to include border funding in the stopgap budget. Democrats agreed to include other border-security measures, including money for new drones to patrol the border, but it was agreed that the wall itself should be debated separately, after the government is kept open.
Mulvaney’s hard-line stance is also odds with a White House faction convinced that a government shutdown would be cataclysmic for an administration already struggling to prove its ability to govern, according to GOP aides in the White House and Congress who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing talks.
Republican leaders have signaled that they will concentrate this week on keeping the government open, even if that means ignoring White House calls for action on other major priorities, such as rewriting the tax code and overhauling the ACA.
If federal workers end up staying home next week, the blame will be on Trump and the GOP.  The GOP controls all branches of the federal government and still cannot get anything done.  Mexico may be laughing loudly this time next week. 


Stephen said...

If the government shuts down, I hope the Secret Service restricts itself to the White House!

EdA said...

As the date for the continuing resolutions lurches forward, we have to remember -- and I wish that Republiscum would remember -- that Benedict Trump succeeded in bankrupting six otherwise solvent companies.

And now he has the entire country to bankrupt.