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Is Another Government Shutdown Imminent? Only Trump Knows!

Congressional leaders have reached a compromise. But Trump will have the final say.

Chris Kleponis/SIPA/NewscomChris Kleponis/SIPA/NewscomPresident Donald Trump today said he's "not happy" with a compromise reached by Democratic and Republican negotiators that would prevent another government shutdown. As was the case in the lead-up to and during the last government shutdown, it all comes down to Trump, and it remains unclear exactly what he plans to do.

News broke last night that negotiators from both chambers of Congress had reached a deal to keep the government fully funded after Friday. Republicans and Democrats have been at an impasse over border security funding since late last year. Trump and his allies in Congress want $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; Democrats don't want to give it to them. When the president refused days before Christmas to sign seven remaining spending bills—including one that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, where the wall funds would come from—roughly one-quarter of the government shut down. More than a month later, Trump finally gave in, signing a continuing resolution that would reopen the government for three weeks.

Which brings us to the present day. The deal lawmakers reached last night does not give Trump anything close to the $5.7 billion he had demanded. While the bill's text has yet to be released, the agreement reportedly includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers on the border, according to Politico. It also caps the number of beds (i.e. detention slots) for immigrants held by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) at roughly 40,500. That's about a 17 percent decrease from the current limit of 49,000, but it's still a win for Republicans. That's because Democrats originally wanted to lower the cap to 34,000, The New York Times reported, citing Democratic aides. However, as USA Today notes, it wouldn't be all that difficult for ICE to exceed the cap imposed by Congress, which it regularly does.

At a rally last night in El Paso, Texas, Trump wouldn't weigh in on the deal until he had been briefed on the details. But speaking to reporters prior to a cabinet meeting today, he expressed his displeasure with the compromise.

"Am I happy at first glance?" he said. "I just got to see it. The answer is no, I'm not. I'm not happy."

"It's not going to do the trick, but I'm adding things to it and when you add whatever I have to add, it's all going to happen where we're going to build a beautiful big strong wall," the president added. Trump also said he's "using other methods" to get his wall money.

What about the possibility of another partial government shutdown? "I don't think you're going to see a shutdown," Trump said.

A White House official told CNN's Jim Acosta, meanwhile, that despite his misgivings, Trump will likely sign the compromise.

This is Trump we're talking about, though, and as always, it's almost impossible to predict his next move. The current situation draws some parallels to December, when Trump, after saying he'd be "proud" to shut down the government over border wall funding, appeared to temporarily shift course. Then, after the Senate approved a bill with $1.3 billion in border security funding (though none for an actual wall) that would keep the government open through February, Trump revealed he wouldn't support it.

As was just as true then as it is now, it all comes down to Trump. If the president decides to reject any proposal that doesn't include $5.7 billion, then the government will probably shutter again, as the chances are slim that two-thirds of both the House and the Senate could come together to override a presidential veto. Ultimately, Trump will have the final say.

However, it's within the realm of possibility that Trump could sign the compromise legislation and still get his way. While the bill funds just 55 of the 215 miles of border wall that the administration wants, Trump could conceivably take executive action to divert Defense and/or Treasury Department funds to build the wall, according to CNN. Some of these options would require him to declare a state of emergency; others wouldn't.

Of course, it's important to note that building the wall would actually cost tens of billions of dollars and would involve seizing private property to provide an ineffective solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.

Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/SIPA/Newscom

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  • Libertymike||

    SHUT IT DOWN!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed. Shit it all down.....FOREVER!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S5ZSDCvUwN8

  • Ray McKigney||

    No. It's all over but the shouting.

  • BigT||

    The link to 'ineffective solution' talks only about costs.

    In reality, a wall would be effective in some selected locations, as walls always are. I don't know about the full 215 miles, but that fence that extends into the ocean near San Diego seems effective. And it depends on how you define effective. Is it a 50% reduction in illegal crossings, or 10%, or 99%? It's a BS argument to definitively say it would be ineffective.

  • John||

    If that is true, and it likely is to at least some degree, then partial funding sounds like a good compromise. Trump doesn't get the full wall but he gets the parts that most matter and likely most of the effectiveness.

  • Agammamon||

    You have a point - but the places where walls would be effective . . . already have walls. San Diego, Calexico, Yuma, Nogales, etc.

    And its considered ineffective to build a wall in the middle of the desert because such a tiny percentage of illegal crossings occur there. The vast majority are coming in through the drug tunnels - built across the cities with walls already - or by people entering the country legally but overstaying their permission.

  • BigT||

    Do ALL of the places where a wall would be effective already have walls? The border patrol folks seem to have specific locations in mind for walls. Anywhere - even in a flat desert - where many illegals enter now could be candidates for walls. Other places, sensors and drone patrols would be preferable.

    Trump should specify what areas need to be addressed, and calculate the cost thereof, and demand that amount for barriers.

  • JFree||

    Well then we need to build the walls underground as well. We need 19 dimension wall building thinking not just 2 dimension wall building thinking.

  • creech||

    Trump's way of explaining the failure of his campaign promise may be to point to his base and the GOP and remind them that elections have consequences and that they failed to keep the House and win more Senate seats in 2018. Of course, he should look in the mirror, too, to see one of the large factors in that failure.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Just so long as he gets them to forget the GOP had the house, senate and presidency for two years and did nothing. If they remember that, they'll probably realize he never intended to do anything.

  • John||

    Totally. It is not like half the GOP in Congress were on the take and have no interest in ever stopping immigration. Nope. Trump could have done it if only he had tried harder.

    The fact that he will end up getting partial funing for his wall and likely just complete it using DOD funds with the Democrats controlling the House shows how worthless the GOP Congress and Ryan in particular is.

  • grb||

    Sigh. The heavy burden of explaining simple things.

    (1) The DOD budget is not Trump's private stash.This is definitely true for an exercise in vanity branding. This doubly truth for a pre-2012 campaign stunt. This is triply true over what everyone knows is a phony "emergency"

    (2) A 2013 Congressional Research Service report spelled out the extent to which the Defense Department can provide DHS reinforcement on the border: While the military has "general legislative authority that allows it to provide support to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in counterdrug and counterterrorism efforts, and in combating certain border-related immigration and smuggling crimes," other actions would require congressional authorization. Sorry, billions of dollars in wall construction just ain't covered by that.

    (3) The American people don't want this jokey wall by a clear margin. The border states really, really don't want it. The communities along the route really, really, really, really don't want it.

    (4) Congress will not support raiding the DOD budget - not even the GOP to any appreciable degree

    (5) If Trump does so anyway, the courts will stop him.

  • John||

    Sigh. I have the burden of explaining complex things to simpletons. Read the right CRS report dumb ass

    http://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/IN11017.html

    It's called reprogramming authority. It is okay not to know this stuff. It is technical and archane What is not okay is acting smug while being laughably ignorant. So for that, go sigh and fuck yourself

  • grb||

    Really? It's that simple, huh? All DJT has to do (all any president has to do) is :

    (1) Declare a obvious fraud of an emergency.
    (2) Then misappropriate funds against the the budgetary authority of Congress.
    (3) For a political aim neither Congress or the American people support
    (4) And Congress does not intervene......
    (5) And the courts do not intervene......

    If you honestly believe that, every damn bit of my smugness was warranted. Please allow me to explain the two possibilities here : Option One : Trump declares "victory" now. Option Two : He goes through the motions of creating a constitutional crisis - knowing he'll get dope-slapped - then he gets dope-slapped - and THEN he declares "victory". Either way, he is not going to successfully steal billions of dollars from the DOD for a empty stunt.

    It's not going to happen....

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Good thing Trump has a legitimate emergency and can do all those things legitimately. Unlike the way the Traitor King, Obama treasonously conducted business.

  • grb||

    One more point : Don't you worry that the evidence listed in your CRS Report link doesn't remotely resemble the situation you claim it pertains to? Your "evidence" consists of a handful of tiny projects, almost exclusively overseas, and all completely non-political.

    In contrast, you think the same logic holds with massive sums of money - many times greater than all your wee little examples combined - to an end expressly beyond the scope of the congressional appropriation involved - and for an aim purely political - and being hotly debated in the public sphere.

    That "logic" to that purpose? Do you want to trash the Constitution or what?

  • Nardz||

    Hundreds of thousands of unauthorized, anonymous people entering the country in violation of US laws is an emergency.

    That it's been neglected for several decades does not make it any less an emergency.

  • Ghatanathoah||

    @Nardz

    If an "emergency" can be neglected for several decades without anything horrifically bad happening to the country then it isn't an emergency. "Emergency" implies urgency.

    Even if you believe that the net effect of illegal immigration is negative, it isn't an emergency like a heart attack. It's a chronic condition like gout.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    That "logic" to that purpose? Do you want to trash the Constitution or what?

    Lefties trash it continually, so what's your point?

  • grb||

    Last point : Yes, Trump can declare a fraudulent emergency and loot the treasury. But Congress can simply vote away the emergency. Did ya know that?

    So, immediately after DJT's larcenous proclamation, the House votes to revoke. What does the Senate do then? Trump was already hemorrhaging GOP support there at the end of the shutdown. And remember : The Senate's core authority would be directly challenged by a fraud of this kind. Does McConnell dare stop a vote? Would he even want to try?

    I'd bet a clear majority against Trump at a bare minimum. Maybe that goes to Trump's desk and is vetoed. The optics of that would sure look bad when it's time for the SCOUS rebuke, 9-0.

  • Sevo||

    You have an active fantasy life and assumptions the future will go the way you hope. I'll bet you voted for the hag, under the assumption she was obviously going to win.

  • grb||

    (Weird. I'm not sure why I typed 2012 for 2020; it doesn't even work dyslexia-wise. When the age is in....)

  • John||

    He declares a national emergency and he can reprogram the construction funds. There is nothing anyone can do to stop him. I am not sure anyone has any standing to even get to court

  • Bearded Spock||

    "Congressional leaders have reached a compromise. But Trump will have the final say."

    If both parties are on board with the deal and Congress can pass it by 2/3 majorities in both chambers then Trump becomes irrelevant.

    If they're still worried about what Trump thinks then that tells me their "compromise" either isn't very popular with the rank-and-file, or they're trying to make Trump take responsibility for the bill passing.

  • Man from Earth||

    Except, the president still has to sign off on any spending bills, so I would hardly say he becomes irrelevant.
    Do you have the remotest idea how the government actually works?

  • BigT||

    Um...2/3 majorities override Trumps veto. Go back to 6th grade.

  • Jerryskids||

    Trump got rolled by Pelosi and Schumer with the same old "give us what we want now and we'll talk later about what you want" trick the Dems have used for years. But there's no shame in getting scammed by the best, Trump admires and respects Pelosi and Schumer because like recognizes like.

  • John||

    How did he get scammed? He got partial funding for his wall and gave up nothing in return. After funding part of the wall, how are the Democrats going to claim funding it is immoral now? How do they stop him from getting more funding next year and more the year after that?

  • Man from Earth||

    Exactly. The Dems have now officially recognised that funding the wall is obviously NOT immoral. We are now just at the stage of haggling over the amount. If he can get partial funding then there is really zero excuse to not give him the full funding, especially since Trump is asking for a miniscule amount compared to the total U.S. budget.
    In the end, this is totally down to the Dems playing stupid, childish political games

  • SIV||

    I'm not a big fan of the "wall" but it would be a hell of a lot cheaper and more practical to build than that fucking choo choo in California.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    You mean as far as monuments to people's folly go?

    Sure, the wall is cheaper. Even more useless, but cheaper.

  • Man from Earth||

    According to border security forces the wall is effective everywhere along the border it has been built, and personally, I would far rather trust their opinion than either your's, or any of the Dems.
    TBH, it is a no-brainer and considering the amount of money it will save in the first year alone as it absolutely prevents illegal immigration, I see no reason not to build it. Just think of all of those illegals being housed in detention centres alone once they manage to cross the border, and this is only the cost of illegals border security manages to catch

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    You mean as far as monuments to people's folly go?

    Sure, the wall is cheaper. Even more useless, but cheaper.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    You mean as far as monuments to people's folly go?

    Sure, the wall is cheaper. Even more useless, but cheaper.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    You mean as far as monuments to people's folly go?

    Sure, the wall is cheaper. Even more useless, but cheaper.

  • Sevo||

    OM, you didn't spoil your post with TDS! Congrats!
    Agreed. The 'wall' may be a political gain, like moonbeam's choo-choo was to him, but the likely effect is near zero.
    With one slight proviso; it will favor the most ambitious, so that minimal effect will be positive. I'm sure this is well below Trump's radar.

  • Rockabilly||

    Journalists OUTRAGED Over "Fake News" Shirt DEMAND It be Removed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozDsftlqmG4

  • Ray McKigney||

    Touchy, aren't we?

  • Frank Thorn||

    No 5.7B?
    Start sending DACA back...

  • Heresy Hunter||

    What is with these people? Republicans and democrats, the only thing they can agree on is keeping the government running.

  • Heresy Hunter||

    What is with these people? Republicans and democrats, the only thing they can agree on is keeping the government running. If Trump signs, it's another cave.

  • BigT||

    Bipartisan shit is the worst shit.

  • Sevo||

    "'A Woman, Just Not That Woman': How Sexism Plays Out on the Trail"
    NYT

    You can find it; commie rag tries to justify feminine assholery; "Wymyn and minorities hardest hit!"

  • Rich||

    I hear Beto thinks walls make us less safe. Would someone *kindly* explain his reasoning? Since the cost of walls is, um, in the noise it can't be that the wall construction money diminishes the purported protection we get in other ways. Is it that walls might keep future safety geniuses out, that walls might "cause" some people to attack us, or what?

  • DenverJ||

    Well, a wall built to keep people out can be used to keep people in. Did the Berlin Wall make East Germans less safe?

  • Man from Earth||

    What a completely stupid statement. The wall is supposed to keep out ILLEGAL immigrants. America still accepts thousands of legal immigrants each year and no American who ever wanted to leave America is ever stopped unless law enforcement is involved.

    Comparing the border wall to the Berlin wall is beyond pathetic.

  • Heresy Hunter||

    Yes, but it kept west Berlin more safe. Obviously, walls should never be used to keep people in, but that doesn't mean they should never be built.

  • Tony||

    Maybe he can pay for a chunk of wall himself with the $100 million he took in for his inauguration that was clearly not spent on the inauguration.

  • ||

    Millions of illegal immigrants is a 'myth'?

    If Trump takes the deal for $1.3 billion can he come back and ask, say, for $3 billion if he gets re-elected or even manages taking back the House in the mid-terms at that point?

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