Majority Of Americans Don’t Want Another Shutdown
Most Americans don't want to see another government shutdown, but they're somewhat divided on the issue of a border wall.
A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans don’t want another government shutdown, but are split on the issue of the President’s border wall:
The deal reached by congressional negotiators to fund the government past Friday may not make President Donald Trump happy, but a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll suggests another government shutdown would make voters even more upset.
The poll, conducted before leaders of the conference committee reached an agreement on Monday, shows little appetite among voters for another shutdown. It comes three weeks after the longest-ever lapse in appropriations ended. Only 33 percent of respondents support another shutdown over Trump’s demand for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. Roughly 6 in 10 voters oppose another shutdown.
Members of Congress announced a deal on Monday that would fund the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies through the end of September. The agreement does not provide any money for a concrete wall along the border and far less for fencing than Trump had requested.
The president panned the deal Tuesday, but said he did not expect to force another government shutdown by rejecting any funding bill that passes Congress.
“I don’t think you are going to see a shutdown,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t want to go to it. If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault.”
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll suggests Trump and Republicans would shoulder more blame for another shutdown than Democrats. A combined 52 percent of voters would blame Trump or Republicans in Congress if the government shuts down again, according to the poll — greater than the 37 percent who would blame congressional Democrats.
Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president, said that’s closer than in polls before the shutdown that began late last year and stretched into January.
“Although voters would hold President Trump responsible for a second shutdown, there’s an uptick in voters who would blame congressional Democrats,” Sinclair said. “Notably, 37 percent of voters would blame congressional Democrats for a government shutdown, compared to 31 percent who said the same before the first shutdown.”
Similarly, voters are split on whether the U.S. should build a wall along the southern border: 47 percent support it and 47 percent oppose it. Earlier POLITICO/Morning Consult polls showed more voters opposed to the border wall.
What these numbers suggest, of course, is that it is in the interests of all parties in Washington to avoid a second shutdown, something that seems like it could spur each side to overlook imperfections in the what the negotiators have come up with and agree to the deal notwithstanding those imperfections. While this poll and others indicate that it is the President and, by extension, Republicans who would receive most of the political blame for another shutdown, there’s also evidence that Congressional Democrats could suffer some political blowback in the event of another shutdown. This is why I suggested earlier this week that it was a mistake for Democrats to try to add the issue of detention beds to the negotiations. While this is certainly an important issue, it diverted from the reasons why the conference committee was established, and the apparent disagreement over the detention of migrants with criminal records seemed to be one that could have come back to haunt Democrats if it led to a shutdown.
In any case, with signs increasing that the deal negotiated by House and Senate conferees, while imperfect, is likely to pass Congress and be accepted by the President, this would appear to avoid the political blowback that another shutdown would have for either party. If that’s the case, then Congress can finally put this issue behind it, for now, and Washington will be able to move on to whatever the next controversy might be coming around the corner.