It’s been a busy few news on the news circuit; half the country is focused on whether or not Trump will push for a shutdown this week. Just last week, the President announced he would push his funding demands for the southern border wall as far as they had to go to make it work – including, if necessary, a complete shutdown.
For a while, it seemed as if shutdown was inevitable. There was bipartisan criticism of the amount he’s asking for – nearly $5 billion at the time. Then, things seemingly turned around a bit and news outlets began predicting Trump would agree to a smaller settlement. Last night, that progress went up in smoke.
Here’s where we are now on this important story.
- First, the latest update: Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke to the press about this issue on December 20th mid-day. Ryan claims the President told him he was refusing to engage in further talks or sign the bill unless both sides agree to fund his border wall.
- “We just had a very long, productive meeting with the president,” Ryan explained. “[He] informed us that he will not sign the bill that came up from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security.”
- Sarah Huckabee-Sanders seemingly confirmed this refusal in a statement given later on in the day. “We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall,” she implored.
- Trump also shared his frustrations on Twitter. ”When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!”
- It isn’t entirely clear exactly how the situation will unfold in coming days. Certainly, it seems as if the spending bill simply will not pass – at least not right now. Trump is sticking to his guns and absolutely refusing to bow to Leftist ideals. Until he gets his $5 billion to protect the country, he’s willing to force Congress and the House to sweat it out.
- Ultimately, Trump has just a few short hours left to change his mind. Once the clock ticks over on midnight on Friday, December 20th, a government shutdown becomes inevitable. But even if he does suddenly become persuaded to give up the fight, there isn’t really enough time left to avoid a shutdown. With just days left before the holiday break, it will still have to pass the Senate – and most leaders are already on vacation.
- The nearly-inevitable shutdown will have an immediate and serious impact on the American people, especially with Christmas just around the corner. Around 800,000 federal workers will go without pay, some of whom will be forced to work in spite of the lack of compensation. The vast majority of non-critical government services will become virtually unavailable.
- The sheer impact of a potential shutdown has both sides sending negative criticism Trump’s way, but the President quickly reminded everyone of what really matters. “With so much talk about the Wall,” he tweeted, “people are losing sight of the great job being done on our Southern Border by Border Patrol, ICE and our great Military. Remember the Caravans? Well, they didn’t get through and none are forming or on their way. Border is tight. Fake News silent!” the president tweeted.
- Democratic leaders have taken advantage of the situation to claim they are “ready to fully, responsibly fund [the] government in January.” Nancy Pelosi spoke out to confirm her readiness, while GOP leader McConnell accused her and other Left leaders of causing any potential issues – including the shutdown. “It seems like political spite for the president may be winning out over sensible policy,” he said.