The question on everybody’s mind in Washington this week is “will there be a government shutdown”? Both Democrat and Republican senators are prepared to spend the Christmas holidays at the capitol if a partial government shutdown comes to pass. This past week President Trump along with Vice President Pence faced off against Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the border wall where the President declared “I am proud to shut down the government”. Here is a look at the meeting.
The Trump administration is digging in its heels in their demand for $5 billion to fulfill the campaign promise of the President to build a wall along the US and Mexican border. The Democrats have been firmly in opposition and Trump doesn’t have the votes in Congress to get a funding bill passed. There is a bipartisan bill where the Democrats have proposed $1.6 billion but that money won’t go towards the wall. Rather they propose the money go towards upgrades to existing fencing and to help with border security.
The Democrats Say No to the Wall
The Democrats have shown no indication that they are willing to budge on this issue. Chuck Schumer said it would be up to Trump as to whether the government would shut down leaving thousands of federal employees without their salary over the Christmas holidays. The partial shutdown would affect federal employees working in several departments including Transportation, Agriculture, State, National Parks, Justice and Homeland Security. Members from both the Republican and Democratic parties say it will have to be Trump to make a move to resolve the impasse.
Avoiding the Shutdown
The House is on an extended break and will return Wednesday, the Senate will return Monday, but as of Friday night Trump has made no indication as to whether he will accept the current proposal. Trump is going to need the support of the Democrats in order to pass any spending bill. With the newly elected crop of Democrats beginning their jobs in the House in early January Trump’s job to get the wall funded won’t get any easier.
Republican Senator John Barasso has said that there is still hope that a government shutdown can be averted and a proposal that works for Trump, the House and the Senate can be reached. That bill could be a stopgap measure extending funding until after the holidays when a different deal could be worked out. While the government may avoid a shut down but that will only extend the standoff into the new year.