Donald Trump

House Dems' Plan to Reopen the Government Probably Won't Work. Thank Trump.

It all comes down to one man.


Yuri Gripas—Pool via CNP / MEGA / Newscom; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

House Democrats have a plan that would end the partial government shutdown soon after the new Congress is seated this week. But it won't matter unless President Donald Trump budges on his demand for $5 billion to start building a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border.

In case you've been asleep for the past few weeks: Trump and congressional Democrats are at an impasse regarding funds for his wall. Trump wants it, but Democrats won't give it to him. As a result, parts of the federal government, including the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), shut down when their funding expired on December 21. (Employees deemed "essential" are still going to work, so the "shutdown," as usual, is not actually a full shutdown.)

The Democrats, who will retake control of the House on Thursday, have a plan to reopen the government. According to The Washington Post, the House will vote that day on two spending packages. One of those packages, which actually includes six spending bills, will fund all the federal departments affected by the shutdown, with the exception of the DHS, through September.

The other package funds the DHS, which is where Trump wants the border wall money to go, but only through February 8. And it does not include the $5 billion Trump has demanded, instead allocating $1.3 billion for border security and fencing. One assumes that if Trump were to sign the package into law, negotiations over wall funding would continue for the next month or so.

The proposal has yet to be publicly announced (though The New York Times, Politico, NBC, and USA Today have all reported on its existence). It likely won't receive much support from House Republicans, but the Democrats may be able to get it through the House anyway.

The GOP-controlled Senate already passed similar legislation earlier this month. Unlike House Democrats' current proposal, that spending package would only have funded all affected departments through February 8. But like the proposal now on the table, it did not meet Trump's border-wall demands. It initially looked like Trump would back down and approve the legislation, but he soon changed course and rejected the proposal.

It's unclear if the Senate will pass such a bill again. It really hinges on Trump. "It's simple: The Senate is not going to send something to the president that he won't sign," Don Stewart, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), tells Politico.

Now, even if Senate Republicans support the House proposal, a Trump veto would make their approval a moot point. As CNBC notes, at least 55 House Republicans and 67 total senators would be needed to override a presidential veto. That seems highly unlikely.

Which means—not to beat a dead horse—that it all comes down to Trump. And while it's impossible to predict what the president will do, don't put money on him folding, or at least not completely. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney did say last week that "we've moved off of the" $5 billion number "and we hope [Democrats] move up from their" $1.3 billion proposal. But House Democrats' current proposal suggests that they have not, in fact, moved up from $1.3 billion.

That, in turn, means Trump likely won't budge. (For proof, look no further than his most recent tweets.) The Democrats don't seem to have any intention of giving him anything close to $5 billion for the wall. So here we are, back at square one.

And why would Trump fold? His wall might be stupid and pointless, but his conservative base loves it. And after all, it was criticism from that base that made him shift course after the White House appeared ready to give in.

So no, the Democrats' plan to reopen the government probably won't work. And they can thank Trump (and his most ardent supporters) for that.

NEXT: Democrats Should Trade Legalization of Immigrants for a Wall That'll Never be Built

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25 responses to “House Dems' Plan to Reopen the Government Probably Won't Work. Thank Trump.

  1. So in that other other other other other other thread I made the judgementless observation that sparky seems to constantly be scolding people, and the not very bright Fagamammon proved he doesn’t know the difference between scolding someone and observing thwir behavior.

    It was deeply embarassing for both the scold, sparky, and the idiot, fagamammon.

    1. There we are, right on time, right behind the EIGHT ball. Good work for nothing.

      Wonder what time zone Tulpa is in and when his parole expires?

      1. It seems to be Cry O’clock perpetually where you are.

  2. Thank the Left for trying to stop Trump at every turn, so he has to assert himself! They are the ones holding it back!

    1. Please stop.

  3. Okay, so Dems in the house pass a bill that doesn’t jibe with the senate bill and this is Trumps fault how?

    Nothings gonna get as far as Trump.

    Congress is shutting the government down before Trump will even get a chance to.

    The only way Trump can ‘shut down the government’ is by refusing to sign a bill.

    But, if he never GETS a bill….

  4. It’s become pretty normal over the last couple of years to see progressives complain about democracy–which, in their minds, is supposed to be the process by which the electorate legitimizes whatever the progressives want to do to us. Pretty hard to take from a libertarian publication.

    Spending, defense, naturalization, these issues are well within the purview of democracy, and if Trump is standing firm on one of them because he thinks he has the swing voters on his side, that’s hardly a reason to complain about the opinions of his supporters.

    When I’ve given to reason in the past it was because I understand that the true purpose of libertarians it to take over the country by way of persuasion. In an authoritarian system, we’d have little hope of influencing policy because in order to influence policy, the leaders need to care about what the people think.

    Yes, our job is to persuade Trump supporters (and those who might listen to them) that the wall is a bad idea and that we should let Mexican citizens cross without visas. Our job is to persuade people that libertarian solutions are superior and, thereby, influence the people to whom our politicians are accountable. That’s the only libertarian means of influence.

    Let’s stop complaining about having to do our job. If you’ve been unsuccessful in persuading people of the benefits of immigration, then that’s probably your fault.

    1. As we all know, Libertarians would be on board with no border wall if social programs were gutted.

  5. Congress can override any Presidential veto by 2/3 vote majority in each house of Congress.

    Democrats dont have the votes.

    Democrats dont have any power.

    The propagandists in the media keep pushing lies that Pelosi is some Queen that can tame Trump. She cant and has not been able to even as a Minority Leader in the House for the last two years.


  6. Thank you Mr. Trump – and I mean that sincerely.

    This whole administration has been a dumpster fire and its been *glorious*. All these people for generations have been claiming that government is srs bsns and deserves decorum all in the service of legitimizing their depredations and its all been laid bare.

    Keep the Federal government shut. *Increase* the numbers of ‘furloughed workers’, widen the scope of ‘non-essential personnel’ and I’ll even vote for you for a second term.

  7. Thank you Mr. Trump – and I mean that sincerely.

    This whole administration has been a dumpster fire and its been *glorious*. All these people for generations have been claiming that government is srs bsns and deserves decorum all in the service of legitimizing their depredations and its all been laid bare.

    Keep the Federal government shut. *Increase* the numbers of ‘furloughed workers’, widen the scope of ‘non-essential personnel’ and I’ll even vote for you for a second term.

    1. If that poat is like the rest of your stuff, you don’t know what most of the words that you used meant.

      And you clearly don’t know how to operate a “submit” button.

      1. 1. Scolding again.

        2. Says the guy who can’t spell and doesn’t know how to use spellcheck.

        1. You’re till getting scold wrong, and obviously getting even more upset about it.

        2. But hey, at least you finally figured out how to properly use the submit button.

        3. It’s pretty fun for me when I can see how obviously a comment pisses someone off like making fun of your inability to properly use the submit button did to you.

          I mean, you resorted to defensive bullet points. You couldn’t find a more effective way to prove that you’re upset about being wrong.

          1. I’m not surprised you ran and decided never to come back.

            Getting the definition of scold wrong isn’t actually anywhere near how stupid ypu normally are so you really dont need to worry, everyone already knows you’re pretty dumb.

  8. I love that “He won’t cave” is always proof that the shutdown is Trump’s fault.

  9. If Congress refuses to negotiate with Trump for what he wants and simply continues to say they’re not interested in making a deal, can’t he just use eminent domain to force them to make a deal? I’ve heard he likes using eminent domain when people selfishly refuse to think of the greater good on the nebulous grounds that it’s “their” stuff.

    1. Isn’t that essentially what Obama said when those obstructionist Republicans in Congress refused to pass legislation he thought necessary and proper – if Congress won’t do its job of passing laws than he’d just do it himself? Congress can’t just squat on its power to legislate without doing anything with it when Trump could put the power to legislate to a much better use.

  10. His wall might be stupid and pointless

    Yes it is – and yes any veto threat he is making is exactly the wrong sort of veto threat.

    OTOH anything that gets the veto back into use – preferably as frequent as changing underwear or tweeting – is good by me even if the first 50 uses of it resemble a dog trying to write Arabic. At some point, someone will figure out what the effective use of the veto is and lightbulbs will explode everywhere..

  11. I have to believe the real question is how far out on a limb Mitch McConnell will go for President Trump. President Trump is playing to his base. The majority of the country thinks the wall is a farce. How long will McConnell protect the President from having to use the veto? I think that McConnell is the key and he will fold.

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  13. When you point a finger at someone you have three more pointing back at you.

  14. “His wall might be stupid and pointless”

    No, actually walls are very effective. You would think that the writers at Reason magazine wouldn’t be such clueless idiots.

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