Shutdown War Will Consume Washington This Week

The U.S. government has been pushed to “the brink of a partial shutdown,” according to the Associated Press (AP).  With both sides unwilling to budge, a compromise solution does not look possible.

On the one hand, Donald Trump and his White House aides say that Congress must provide $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On the other hand, key leaders in Congress say that there will be no money given by them to build Trump’s beloved wall, which was one of his top campaign promises.

If a solution is not found to this stalemate, several key agencies in the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday. And Republicans will be blamed for it.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller went on the Sunday morning talk shows and defiantly announced:

“We’re going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration.”

When asked if he and Trump would force a government shutdown over the issue, he reiterated: “If it comes to it, absolutely.”

Donald Trump said last week he would be “proud” to have a shutdown to get Congress to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise. This has caused a lot of problems for the Republican-controlled Congress since they don’t have the necessary votes to support funding for the wall in the amount Trump wants.

Leaders in both parties have have said the next move to resolve the impasse must be made by the president, because they have put all of their proposals on the table.

The Democratic congressional leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have agreed on no more than $1.6 billion for border security. In fact this amount is specified in a bipartisan Senate bill. The money that Schumer and Pelosi agreed to would not go for a border wall, however. Instead, it would be used for fencing upgrades and other border security.

Schumer was also on TV on Sunday and repeated his position that it is up to Trump to decide what to do. If he doesn’t give in the federal government will partially shut down, and thousands of federal employees will lose their paychecks for the holidays.

“He is not going to get the wall in any form,” Schumer said.

Schumer did not say if he and other Democrats would be willing to consider proposals in addition to the two options that he and Pelosi have offered.

He said:

“Republicans should join us in one of these two proposals, which would get more than enough votes passed and avoid a shutdown Then, if the president wants to debate the wall next year, he can. I don’t think he’ll get it. But he shouldn’t use innocent workers as hostage for his temper tantrum.”

About one-quarter of the government would be affected, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks.

It is widely believed that if a shutdown does occur it will hurt Republicans politically, but congressional GOP leaders are impotent. With Trump taking a stand to please his radical anti-immigrant base of supporters, all the Republicans can do is watch as their party’s brand is further harmed by the man in the White House.