Once again, a shutdown looms

  • 1 August 2018
  • NormanL

The federal government is again facing the prospect of a shutdown, this time on September 30, unless Congress can find a way to pass its remaining appropriations bills, or come up with some sort of short-term solution.

For his part, the president is making clear he will shut the whole thing down if Congress refuses to provide the funds he wants for border security, including construction of a wall:

"As far as the border is concerned, and personally, if we don't get border security, after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown," Trump said during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, adding that the two are "united in our conviction that strong nations must have strong borders."

Trump's statement comes a day after he tweeted that he would shut down the government "if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!"

Currently, government funding is set to run out just 37 days before Nov. 6, the day of the midterm elections. Republicans control both the Senate and House, along with the presidency, but Trump and lawmakers have put the blame on Democrats for not passing immigration reform.

Trump said that his administration is "working hard to pass border security legislation, improve vetting, and establish a merit-based immigration system."

"It's time we had proper border security. We're the laughing stock of the world. We have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world," Trump said.

The president later said he would be willing to "leave room for negotiation" in terms of his immigration demand. He added that $25 billion for a wall is not a "red line" for him.

Whether Congress will bow to the pressure remains to be seen. Republicans are not keen on handing Democrats a shutdown to use against them in advance of the November elections, so some movement is likely. However, Congress has only a handful of working days before the September 30 deadline. We would think the worthies would redouble their efforts to get the budget passed, and forge a compromise the president can accept. But nothing with Congress is certain, except they can be counted on to wait until the last minute to act.