Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Time For Shutdown

"Trump says he would shut down government if Democrats don’t agree to his immigration proposals" by Philip Rucker and Robert Costa Washington Post  July 29, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Trump threatened Sunday to stop funding the federal government this fall if Congress does not pass sweeping changes to immigration laws, including appropriating more public money to build his long-promised border wall.

‘‘I would be willing to shut down government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for border security, which includes the wall!’’ Trump tweeted. ‘‘Must get rid of lottery, catch and release, etc., and finally go to system of immigration based on merit! We need great people coming into our country!’’

Trump’s shutdown warning, which he has made before, raises the stakes ahead of a Sept. 30 government funding deadline, a political showdown before the November midterm elections that Republican congressional leaders had hoped to avoid.

A funding fight also could prove a distraction from Republican efforts in the Senate to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Oct. 1.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a Friday interview with a Kentucky radio station that a shutdown will not happen, adding that talks over funding the wall would ‘‘probably’’ have to wait until after the midterms.

Talk of a shutdown was also dismissed by other top Republicans, including Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, who leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, which coordinates campaign efforts for House Republican candidates.

“I think we’re going to make sure we keep the government open, but we’re going to get better policies on immigration,’’ Stivers said on ABC’s ‘‘This Week.’’

Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, told CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation’’ that he supports the president’s effort to pass conservative immigration policies but disagreed with his brinkmanship.

It's worked so far, and "President Trump endorsed Italy’s handling of immigration issues Monday as he welcomed the country’s new premier to the White House for talks on trade and the military. Trump also said he would ‘‘certainly meet’’ with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani if the Iranian leader was willing, adding he would do it with ‘‘no preconditions.’’

If he can pull of a deal with Iran, he will deserve a Peace Prize.

Trump’s declaration on Twitter surprised some lawmakers who have been eager to avoid a bruising funding fight and highlighted his intense desire to make progress on signature agenda items that have stalled.

In recent days, Trump has also spoken with several outside political allies who have urged him to strike a tougher line on the border wall as a means of pressuring Democrats and rallying his core voters in November, according to two people briefed on those discussions. 

I wonder who he talked to.

Trump has sought to make immigration a central campaign theme heading into the midterms.

It is unclear whether simply threatening to shut down the government could push Democrats to agree to fund construction of the wall, particularly because Trump has backed down at the last minute during previous standoffs.

Like now?

There was a brief government shutdown in January, but the Democrats backed down quickly.....