Donald Trump is going to the mat on a partial shutdown for wall money that he has NO chance of wringing out Congress ….
It’s the quintessential ending to the fractious eight-year House GOP majority, which was dominated by knife fights between GOP leaders and conservatives. Since Republicans took power on a tea party wave in 2010, hard-liners have tried to force their more pragmatic-minded leaders further right — ultimately driving one speaker, John Boehner, out of town and threatening to do the same to his replacement, Ryan.
When Trump came to Washington, these conservatives found a more willing partner in a powerful position. And over the past two years, they’ve perfected a strategy of circumventing GOP leadership by appealing to Trump and his instincts to please the base.
They squashed Ryan’s initial Obamacare repeal bill because it wasn’t conservative enough. They trampled the speaker’s attempt to craft a moderate GOP immigration proposal with a fix for Dreamers. And now, they’re ending two years of Republican hegemony over Washington by cheering Trump to shutter a quarter of the federal government just days before Christmas if he doesn’t get his wall…
“Any effort on his part to blame the Democrats will be such bullshit — that as I said before — I would hardly be able to stand it.”
— Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), in an interview on MSNBC.
Donald Trump, just hours before a handful of federal agencies will close, urged Senate Republicans to“fight” for his southern border wall and predicted a likely government shutdown “will last for a very long time.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “will need Democrat votes, but as shown in the House, good things happen,” wrote a president lurching from crisis to crisis even though Senate Democrats are united against the wall. “If enough Dems don’t vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown! House Republicans were great yesterday!”
Trump grew more and more blunt in a morning Twitter rant, at one point essentially telling his millions of followers that a partial government shutdown over Christmas is likely: “Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!”….
Playbook: “At this moment, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have no incentive at all to negotiate with Republicans. Zero. Schumer and Pelosi were in agreement with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that they needed to pass a short-term spending bill until Feb. 8. So now, it’s incumbent upon Republicans — who decided to abandon that plan — to figure out how to keep government open, or reopen it when it’s closed.”