by Daveda Gruber:
Is a Christmas government shutdown inevitable? It doesn’t seem as though President Trump and congressional Democrats are agreeing on anything.
Midnight on Friday is the deadline for a spending package to be agreed upon. Some on Capitol Hill believe that a government shutdown will happen.
Late Monday, as he emerged from a leadership meeting, Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, “I know of no plan.”
There are rumors and conjecture buzzing of a possible way out of the legislative blockage.
The biggest sticking point continues to be Trump’s terms for border wall funding. Trump is insisting on $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico wall. Democrats seem to be stuck on a maximum of $1.3 billion. That would go to funding fencing and other border security. They don’t actually want a wall.
Late Monday, “President Trump still doesn’t have a plan to keep the government open,” was the roar of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer from the floor.
Schumer insists that Trump does not have the votes for a wall, at least in the Senate.
Schumer said, “So everyone knows the situation even with a Republican Congress, no threat or temper tantrum will get the president his wall.”
On Monday Trump suggested that Democrats’ calls for border security ring hollow without support for the wall.
Anytime you hear a Democrat saying that you can have good Border Security without a Wall, write them off as just another politician following the party line. Time for us to save billions of dollars a year and have, at the same time, far greater safety and control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2018
Illegal immigration costs the United States more than 200 Billion Dollars a year. How was this allowed to happen?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
One possibility for for Congress and the president would be to approve a short-term funding measure known as a “CR,” which is a time-tested tactic for delaying difficult funding fights without immediately resolving them.
A senior Senate Republican source said after Monday’s leadership meeting that a “CR” may be necessary. He also mentioned that it appears Trump is running out the clock to build pressure.
The GOP source said, “We are as unsettled as we have been for some time.”
Efforts are being made to try to convince Trump that a short-term spending bill is better. That would give Trump the opportunity to fight next year over the wall.
A Republican source said, “I’m not sure that will sell.”
A few GOP sources are suggesting that the Trump administration has a large leeway in determining which workers are essential and which are not and. That may minimize the impact of a government shutdown. That would mean the shutdown could go on for a while.
Now, I hope someone clarifies this for me because I am unable to figure this out. The answer to me seems so logical, how could everyone miss it, if I am correct?
What if the House passes the bill this week because we still have the majority in the House? Then we wait until the new session with a larger majority in the Senate to get the bill passed by the Senate or use the nuclear option to pass it?
One senior Republican source said, “There are not a lot of options and not a lot of certainty.”