Trump Again Threatening Government Shutdown Over Immigration, Border Wall
President Trump is suggesting he may force a government shutdown over his immigration policies just a month before the midterm elections.
President Trump is once again threatening to force a government shutdown if he doesn’t get what he wants on immigration, including funding for the border wall that he said that Mexico would pay for:
WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans, already facing a difficult election landscape, confronted a prospect on Sunday they had worked feverishly to avoid: a threat by President Trump to shut down the government over funding for a border wall.
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”
Last week, Republican leaders thought they had reached a deal with Mr. Trump to delay a confrontation on funding for the wall until after the November midterm elections, according to a person familiar with their discussion.
But Mr. Trump’s shutdown threat, in which he also demanded several pieces of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that is stalled in Congress, has opened the door to a politically bruising spending fight as the fiscal year ends in September.
With the election coming just weeks later, the party can ill afford a disruption that voters — already disgusted by Washington dysfunction — may hold the president accountable for.
A shutdown would also distract from Senate Republicans’ main business in September: their push to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“We’re going to have a challenging midterm anyway, and I don’t see how putting the attention on shutting down the government when you control the government is going to help you,” Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, said in an interview.
Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, the chairman of the committee charged with electing Republicans to the House, insisted that a shutdown was unlikely.
“I don’t think we’re going to shut down the government,” Mr. Stivers said on the ABC News program “This Week.” ”You know, I think we’re going to make sure we keep the government open, but we’re going to get better policies on immigration.”
Democrats and Republicans have in fact made unusual progress on the 12 appropriations measures necessary to keep the government operating. Current funding for the government expires Sept. 30.
More from The Washington Post, which also notes that Trump’s call for a shutdown over immigration policy is not being received well by Republicans in the House or the Senate:
President Trump threatened Sunday to shut down the federal government this fall if Congress does not pass sweeping changes to immigration laws, including appropriating more public money to build his long-promised border wall.
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Trump tweeted. “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”
Trump’s shutdown warning — which he has made before — escalates the stakes ahead of a Sept. 30 government funding deadline, raising the possibility of a political showdown before the Nov. 6 midterm elections that Republican congressional leaders had hoped to avoid. A funding fight also could prove a distraction from Republican efforts in the Senate to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh by Oct. 1.
Trump faced immediate words of caution from top Republicans, including Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio), who leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, which coordinates campaign efforts for GOP House candidates.
“I don’t think we’re going to shut down the government. You know, I think we’re going to make sure we keep the government open, but we’re going to get better policies on immigration,” Stivers said on ABC News’s “This Week.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, told CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that he supports the president’s effort to pass conservative immigration policies but disagreed with his brinkmanship.
Trump’s declaration on Twitter surprised some lawmakers who have been eager to avoid a bruising and politically charged funding fight and highlighted his intense desire to make progress on signature agenda items that have stalled.
The president has not received from Congress as much funding as he has requested for his proposed wall along the Mexican border. Trump also has been advocating for a number of changes to immigration laws, including ending the visa lottery program as well as “catch and release” — the practice of releasing from detention immigrants caught entering the country illegally if they agree to court hearings.
Trump met Wednesday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and discussed the upcoming spending measure. The president signaled in the meeting that he was on board with McConnell and Ryan’s strategy to fund the government smoothly through “minibuses,” or smaller packages of spending bills that had been moving through the House and Senate, according to a person familiar with the meeting.
But in recent days, Trump has also spoken with several outside political allies who have urged him to strike a tougher line on the border wall as a means of pressuring Democrats and rallying his core voters in November, according to two people briefed on those discussions.
Trump has sought to make immigration a core campaign theme heading into the midterms. He has defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, arguing that some parents who have been separated from their children under this policy are criminals.
Here are Trump’s tweets on immigration and a potential shutdown:
I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
We must have Border Security, get rid of Chain, Lottery, Catch & Release Sanctuary Cities – go to Merit based Immigration. Protect ICE and Law Enforcement and, of course, keep building, but much faster, THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2018
This isn’t the first time that the President has threatened a government shutdown over his immigration policy, and if it happened it would not be the first time during his Presidency that the government shutdown over immigration-related issues. About a year ago at this time, as Congress was headed back to Washington to deal with passing a spending measure before the then-current Fiscal Year expired, the President threatened to force a government shutdown if the spending bill didn’t include funding for his border wall. While he ultimately did not pull the trigger on that threat, it remained hanging out there and would play a significant role in events earlier this year that ultimately did lead to a brief government shutdown.
That occurred early in the year, of course, when the Senate tried to put together an agreement that would both deal with outstanding budget issues and resolve the issues surrounding the beneficiaries of President Obama’s Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. They were prompted to take this course of action largely thanks to a bipartisan meeting with Members of Congress and the Senate in which he essentially told them to go back and come up with a proposal to fix the DACA issue and stated that he would sign whatever they came up with. Within a matter of days, Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin had come up with just such a proposal that appeared to have broad bipartisan support. When they went to the White House to present that plan to the President, though, they found their proposal being rebuffed. This is the same meeting at which the President made his now infamous comments about immigrants from “shithole” countries. It was at that point, that things in the Senate started going downhill and led to the shutdown that ended after a weekend. Prior to the shutdown, the President had met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and came away thinking he had a deal that would have included both protection for DACA beneficiaries and some funding the for the border wall. Within hours after the meeting, though, the White House had rescinded the deal, and that led to the aforementioned shutdown. As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put it over the weekend, negotiating with this President is like negotiating with Jello. Even when he makes a clear and unequivocal statement on what he might accept in legislation, it’s become inevitable that the White House or Trump himself will walk it back. After the shutdown was over, as Congress sought to put together a budget deal, Trump again threatened a shutdown in February, but those threats were ultimately ignored.
As noted above, most Republicans are not exactly embracing the idea of a government shutdown in September, and most especially not one that is focused on the President’s policies on immigration. For one thing, any such shutdown would come within a month prior to the midterm elections at a time when voters in many states will already be eligible to vote early or vote via absentee, and it’s highly likely that a shutdown would have a negative impact on the fortunes of the Republican Party in the fall, which is already looking like an uphill battle for the GOP. Adding immigration into the mix would only seem to make things worse given the fact that polling has clearly indicated that the American public is largely opposed to the Republican Party’s current orthodoxy on immigration. Throw into that mix the significant public opposition to the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance and family separation policies, both of which continue to be a source of problems on the southern border, and it seems as though it would be hard to underestimate the damage that a shutdown, especially a prolonged one, would do to the GOP on the eve of the midterms.
In the end, I doubt that Republicans on Capitol Hill will listen to the President’s call for a shutdown over immigration. Not only do they remember the negative public reaction from the shutdown earlier this year, but they also remember the even deeper public reaction to the shutdown in 2013 that lasted nearly two weeks. Some conservatives will no doubt point out that the GOP didn’t pay much of a political price for that shutdown in the 2014 elections, but the main reason for that is that the shutdown was more than a year in the past when those elections took place. This time, it would be a matter of weeks at best. Given that, I would expect Republicans on Capitol Hill to resist the President’s call. What they will do if he actually followed through on this threat and vetoed a budget bill that didn’t satisfy his requirements on immigration is another question entirely.
Patrick Leahy was on NPR last night and said something that I don’t think got enough attention. He said that it wasn’t worth negotiating with Trump on any issue because no matter what deal you have struck he doesn’t feel bound by it. Essentially, negotiations that involve Trump are a complete waste of time. “Master of the Deal” my *ss.
Of course he doesn’t, he’s never been held to them in the past so why start now? Trump’s not a businessman, he’s a con artist. Con artists don’t do “deals”, they do scams. Any appearance of negotiation is part of the scam and was never intended to be successful. That’s why John Q Public is able to score great deals and discounts on Honest Don’s dealership despite the fact that it’s supposed to be his profession you’re beating him at. Negotiations are empty words to distract you and get closer to the score.
Add in that this is a seventy year old manbaby who’s set in his ways and starting to sundown like nobody’s business. He doesn’t feel bound to anything and his mind goes walkies late at night, leading to the cray-cray tweets. Notice when the really weird ones tend to come out. Can’t be bound to something you can’t really remember doing/saying, now can you?
If it’s legislation, shutdown
If it’s trade, tariffs
If it’s foreign policy, threaten and insult everyone but Putin.
It gets tiresome.
It’s a pity Trump failed at casinos, they’re the perfect business for him. Casinos rely on flashing lights, loud noises, and scantily-clad cocktail waitresses pouring booze down your throat to so befuddle and overwhelm you that you actually start to believe you can win at craps.
There are a couple dozen massive, garish hotel/casinos in Vegas, all of them built by suckers who voluntarily paid good money to get an education in the basics of probability and house rules.
Please, please, please, please, do this Mr. Dennison.
Somewhat more interesting than this bit of cinema is Mr. Guilani’s démarche on ‘Collusion is not a crime.’
Rather typically competent defence lawyers do not make such problematic démarches except to mitigate damaging fact sets that are sure to come out. Of course the word competent is used with reservation in association with him.
Well his grave error was in actually playing at managing them, instead of merely being the face marketing them, and leaving management and execution to actually competent associates.
As a blustering front man and huckster he has a real skill and brilliance, a snake-like charisma as it were. Sadly Mrs Clinton lacked even a snake-like charisma.
Ah, now he’s preparing to abase himself and his country to the mullahs in Persia.
Wonder what he’ll give up this time? That base in Qatar looks frightfully expensive.
And on top of that, after having vigorously denied that Trump knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Giuliani is now saying, “Maybe he did; maybe he didn’t.”
It’s not a deal until the President thinks it’s his own idea and tweets about it. Will these people never learn?
Even then it’s not a deal. He may Tweet something totally contradictory two hours later.
It might be splitting hairs, but Mrs. Clinton can be quite charismatic and likable when she opens up — she just hates to do so. She did it a lot on her first senate campaign. It’s not that she has no charisma but that she was arrogant enough to think that she couldn’t lose, and thus never bothered doing the things that made her uncomfortable.
Yes, it would have meant answering in countless interviews variations on the question “Why didn’t you leave Bill after he humiliated you on the national stage?”, which is probably not going to be the funnest question to answer, but which utterly humanizes her.
It was a choice not to do this. It’s worse than just having no charisma.
Folks this is clear:
By “merit” for immigration, this may mean those who can fill a job at one of his resorts… you know… the ones he just can’t seem to find Americans to work at.
Donald Trump Thinks American Workers Aren’t Good Enough for the Trump Organization
@CSK: Probably due to Cohen’s comments about Trump knowing full well about said meeting.
Hence the backtracking.
Yes, but wasn’t Rudy still denying that Trump knew even after Cohen said that?
In the NYT coverage of the most recent ‘shutdown’ (19 Jan) there is a sub-heading that reads: “Even as the shutdown dominates headlines, it could be forgotten by November”. And it was. Past tense: Was.
Looked up the Presidential Approval tracking polls from that week. Mr Trump’s approval fell from 41% to 37% during that week.
As was said above: Oh please. OH PLEASE!
@CSK: Over at TPM the estimable Dr Josh Marshall has a pretty cool set of Rudy’s news show appearances as he dances around that pole, slowly shedding his dignity and intelligence until he SHOWS US EVERYTHING!
I check in with TPM every day. Those videos are great.
And gets the blessing from Fox & Friends the next day.
I think he gets the go-ahead from Sean Hannity and then Tweets.
And you can be sure that 27% will give trump and the GOP a complete pass on the govt shutdown.
Having followed Clinton for years I’m pretty darn sure that at no point she thought she couldn’t lose. Quite the opposite. Unfortunately, her go-to move under pressure is more discipline, tighter control of the message, never letting anyone see you sweating, etc. This works amazingly well everywhere but a campaign
@CSK: Rudy is 74, two years older than Trump. You can’t expect a guy that age to stay ahead of the curve 100% of the time. Particularly on a road as fast and curve-ridden as Trump’s mind. Just not realistic.
Actually, contemptible would be a much better word to associate with Mr. 9/11+Noun+Verb…
As for the Orange Toddler, the Democrats can only hope that he shuts down the government near election time…for them, he would be the gift that keeps on giving…
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Just looked for your comment about age on the Ginsburg thread. You haven’t posted it yet. I’ll check back later.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
There’s a theory floating about that Rudy is deliberately playing the addled old coot on tv acting on the assumption that people will grow so tired of trying to figure out what he’s saying that they’ll throw up their hands in despair and and quit paying attention to the story.
Holy cow… all kidding aside, have you seen THIS?
Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Rich
Seriously? The average Joe GOP’er that voted for Trump is not the one that would benefit… and to have that follow-up what seems to be a horrid idea of a trade war… just tone deaf.
But for a guy that is a scam artist? No surprise at all. Totally staying in his lane.
@Gustopher: @MarkedMan: It may be an exaggeration to say she thought she couldn’t lose, but she clearly was overconfident about her chances. How else to explain why she campaigned in Arizona while ignoring Wisconsin? And she has a history of making similarly poor strategic decisions, as during the 2008 primaries when she ignored the small states that enabled Obama to accumulate a nearly insurmountable delegate lead before she even noticed what was happening. That’s two elections in which she played the hare to her opponent’s tortoise. That suggests a habit.
As for charisma, my impression is that she just doesn’t value it very much. In her battles with Obama, Sanders, and Trump, the common denominator is that she was annoyed by her opponent’s ability to excite crowds, felt it was a sign of lack of substance (which I definitely don’t agree was a fair criticism of Obama), and styled herself the serious candidate of ideas. She seems to consider it beneath her to make appeals based on her personality.
@Kylopod: I don’t think campaigning in Arizona rather than Wisconsin was a sign of overconfidence in her chances. Rather, it was a sign of taking for granted states that traditionally vote Democratic in presidential elections to focus on states where she assumed it would be harder to win. A Feb. 13, 2017 538 article by Nate Silver made this point:
@Kylopod: I’d also disagree about Clinton thinking appeals based on personality being beneath her. I have heard that she is very personable in small group settings, and she did quite a few small group events during her campaign.
@Kylopod: in other words, knowing that firing up large crowds is not your strength, and so using smaller events to make your more personal appeals, is not the same as thinking personal appeals are beneath you.
The problem with that argument is that four years earlier Obama did not ignore Wisconsin–despite the fact that he had previously won the state by double digits.
Silver’s point about how she did campaign in PA and yet it seemed to lead to the same results as in WI is interesting, and it raises questions about the effectiveness of campaigning–but that all comes with hindsight. No matter what the truth may be, she believed that campaigning made a difference and was prepared to campaign her butt off where she believed it would help her. If she ignored WI, it was because she believed it was safely enough in her column that it didn’t require her attention or resources–an attitude that Silver himself specifically warned her against. As he wrote on Nov. 1, exactly a week before Election Day: “It’s true that Trump would have to make a breakthrough somewhere, by winning at least one state in Clinton’s firewall. But that’s why it’s not only reasonable but 100 percent strategically correct for Trump to be campaigning in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin.” A couple of days later he wrote: “The point, as we’ve said before, is just that Clinton’s so-called firewall is not very robust. If you’re only ahead in exactly enough states to win the Electoral College, and you’d lose if any one of them gets away, that’s less of a firewall and more of a rusting, chain-link fence.” She ignored this advice and was likely listening more to the sorts of analysts who were making fun of Trump for campaigning in those states.
Moreover, focusing on Arizona because it would be “harder to win” makes no sense, because she didn’t need Arizona–at best it would have been icing on the cake, an extra prize after already scoring an electoral majority, similar to Indiana for Obama in 2008. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to go for such prizes, but not at the expense of making sure you aren’t neglecting the places you absolutely do need.
All these choices were the essence of a campaign that believed it had the election in the bag and was focused on trying to expand its already assured majority beyond its traditional boundaries.
@Leonard: I’ll wait for you to find the post where I advocated that RGB not retire. Don’t got a dog in that fight at all.
Nor in this one. I’m simply noting a fact about Rudy to troll guys like you. Comforting to know that it works. Now go put your poor, hurt feefees in a nice warm tub and relax. Remember, Rudy is “Making America Great Again” even if it’s only by shooting you guys in the foot.
@CSK: You should see if you can sell that one to @Leonard: . It would have been much more effective than the attack that he made on me, and clearly, he needs the help.
But I don’t think Rudy is really that on top of this whole thing. Even so, it’s still better food for thought than “but whatabout…”
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Trolling is supposed to make people angry. This just made me feel sad for you. And alittle superior.
@Kylopod: Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m sure there is some way she could have threaded the needle. She probably relied to much on how she very successfully threaded that needle in NYS in her first and second Senate run. Unfortunately, New York State and Illinois (where she grew up) are very different than the Trump states. Both are more than self reliant, contributing much more to the federal coffers than they get out. The Trump states, for the most part, leech off everyone else. And NY and Illinois respect and admire a get ‘er done attitude. Hilary is a “let’s just get to work” type of person. She doesn’t like campaigning (and it showed). She had a reputation for handing out credit freely to anyone who would pitch in and that played well for her. The Trump states or near Trump states are much more focused on resentments and showboating and dramatic accusations. In the Northeast, West Coast and large population Midwest you can put a majority together who just want to make sure the schools aren’t slipping, that the roads are paved, that the water is safe to drink. In the Trump states there just aren’t enough people to make it a real priority (ex: the bottom 10 slots in the rankings for education have been occupied by the Trump states for what, 150 years or so?). In the Trump states if there is a problem with slipping math scores you are much more successful campaigning if you say the solution is to bring back prayer in schools. Or trumpeting your fantastic record in barring gays from getting cakes. What if the problem is at the university level? Well, sure enough, then the people will get mad! How can we expect to attract a $4M coach if we don’t build a $100M stadium?!
Sure, I know that there are many, many people in Trump states that are striving to make things better. In fact, I suspect the ratio of strivers to yahoos is not that far off from NY or IL. But that difference is crucial. It’s like the difference being a little bit above the water and a little bit below the water makes in drowning. In the Trump states the yahoos have been winning for a couple of centuries, even if by only a small margin.
So maybe Hillary’s pitch was impossible in a country with so many near-Trump states. She wouldn’t resort to ginning up phony resentments. She wouldn’t resort to lying about, well, everything. And she certainly wasn’t charming like her husband (and she knows it). That may be too much to ask in a state that cares more about kneeling football players and confederate statues than steady but incremental gains in water quality or the import / export ratio.
I think we need to be clear on what we mean by the “Trump states.” Highly impoverished states like Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, etc. aren’t “Trump states” per se, they’re Republican states that would have voted for any Republican in 2016. Now, the question of why those states have become so Republican in the past generation is a worthwhile topic for discussion (all the states I mentioned voted for Bill Clinton in the ’90s), but it doesn’t have much to do with Hillary, who had no reason to campaign in those states, anymore than Trump should have campaigned in (once-Republican) California or Illinois.
A state like Wisconsin, on the other hand, does not fit that description of leeching off everyone else. It’s perfectly in the middle when it comes to wealth, GDP, and level of federal assistance. A shift of 22,000 votes (which could have been achieved with a less-than-1% increase in Democratic turnout, without having to persuade a soul to flip from R to D) was all that was needed to keep it in Democratic hands. It also has highly restrictive voter-ID laws, thanks to the Republicans in charge of its government. So regardless of what motivated Hillary to avoid the state, it was very winnable. It wouldn’t have won her the election on its own, but it was still an act of malpractice for her to let it slip away. I’m sick and tired of the excuse-making I’m hearing from some Democrats about how there was no way she could have known she was in danger of losing the state because it had voted Democrat for so long, blah blah. The polls in the state were off, but the signs were there, and even Obama hadn’t ignored the state when he was in far less danger of losing it.
@Leonard: I bet feeling ‘a little superior’ is a fairly common phenomenon for you.
Which was a smart move. Hillary is not like Obama, who can work a large crowd. She always works better small group settings, when she can do one on one talks with the voters. Go watch the debates, her strongest points were when she was doing the one on one with the voters.
Anyway, this is all a mute point. It is hard to do an election autopsy, without acknowledging the role Comey’s letter played. Both internal polling from both camps have said they saw a massive drop in Clinton’s support when that happened.
@Leonard: If feeling superior to an ign’int cracker is an achievement, you need to aspire to higher goals. Wa!