According to former presidential adviser Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump really wants his border wall with Mexico, and he will do anything to get it, including shutting down the U.S. government. Bannon’s remarks were made during a lengthy interview on CNN.
We reported last Monday that Trump had told lawmakers in Congress that he will allow the federal government to shut down before again signing a spending bill like the one that he signed into law in March. And now Bannon is confirming that he believes Trump is serious about doing this.
“The wall is not just totemic. The wall is absolutely central to his program.” Bannon said to CNN. “I believe the government will actually shut down in the run-up to the election,” he added.
Many people view Trump’s proposed border wall as his biggest and most important policy platform during his campaign for the presidency. The fact that he has not been able to convince Congress to fund his beloved wall really bothers him, according to those close to the White House.
But will Trump hold his line in the sand and shut down the U.S. government in October in order to get his wall, even if it hurts Republicans’ chances in the midterm elections in November? According to Bannon, the answer is “yes.”
“I believe that what he’s going to do is, as we come up on September 30, if that appropriations bill does not include spending to fully build his wall — not some $1.6 billion for prototypes, I mean to build the southern wall — I believe he will shut down the government,” Bannon said during the interview.
Bannon also reiterated that immigration is Trump’s most important issue because it grabs many people who see immigrants as a threat to the United States, and also see immigrants as taking jobs that should go to U.S. citizens.
“Immigration is about not just sovereignty, it’s about jobs,” Bannon said.
Trump’s desperation about getting a border wall built has shown through in recent months as he started pressuring the U.S. military to illegally pay for the wall. He wanted to use military funds from the omnibus spending bill that was passed in March. This would be illegal because wall funding requires a congressional vote specifically to allocate money for that purpose.
Steve Bannon has been right many times in the past when predicting what Donald Trump would do. If he’s right this time then we will be seeing some high-stakes budget drama in Washington this fall.
Republicans will have to decide if they want to give in to Trump and fund his wall or stand firm and face a government shut down that will hurt them in the midterm elections. Either way, it will probably be a losing issue for the Republican Party.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.