In just six days Democrats will control the U.S. House of Representatives, at which time they will probably make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House, arguably the second most powerful position in Washington.
And according to POLITICO, Pelosi and the Democrats have a plan in place to totally demolish Donald Trump in their ongoing battle over the government shutdown.
Democrats are convinced they are winning the shutdown battle and their plan involves opening the government and denying Trump “even a penny more for his border wall.”
Pelosi and other top House Democrats have several options they can use to refuse Trump’s $5 billion wall funding request while making sure the furloughed federal employees get back to work.
If they are successful, then the new era of split government in Washington will begin with a demoralizing defeat for Trump and a stunning victory for Nancy Pelosi
The first step for House Democrats is to pass a funding bill as their first order of business in the new Congress which begins next Thursday. The goal is to put immense pressure on Senate Republicans — especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to do the same thing.
Democrats believe they have the strongest bargaining position, and that their leverage will increase the longer the shutdown lasts.
And GOP leaders privately agree with this assessment, according to the POLITICO report.
At that time Pelosi labeled it the “Trump Shutdown” and events since then have made the president seem desperate for a political “win.”
The wild swings in the stock market, the Syria pullout, the firing of Defense Secretary James Mattis, and increasing pressure from special counsel Robert Mueller have made it apparent that Trump is hurting politically.
The shutdown is not popular with the American people, but he thinks that it will solidify support within his political base of supporters, which is about 30% of American voters.
Trump’s shutdown antics have made it clear that he is acting out of his own political self-interest and not what is best for America.
So as soon as they are able, Pelosi and the Democrats will stick it to Trump, and try to force him to agree to sign a funding bill that does not include the money he wants for his border wall.
Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the incoming Rules Committee chairman, said:
“We want … the government open, and my hope is we can get it opened before January 3. If not, one of the first things we’ll do will be to move to pass legislation to reopen the government. And the president can decide whether he wants to sign it or not.”
Yesterday McGovern tried to get a House vote on a Senate-passed bill to reopen the government. But Republicans in charge refused to recognize McGovern, killing his effort to get a bill passed. It is now obvious that Republicans won’t do anything in the next few days to end the shutdown stalemate.
So the Democrats are planning to implement some procedural tactics that will allow them to move quickly to pass a bill next Thursday. They reportedly have several funding options they will approve that day, which would give Trump and Senate Republicans several alternatives to choose from to reopen the government.
POLITICO reported that these alternatives have already been presented to Trump by Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. And none of them include more than the $1.3 billion they already offered to fund fencing at the border.
In his political gamesmanship, Trump is still demanding $5 billion for his wall. He says the Democrats’ offer of $1.3 billion is not enough for him to sign a bill passed by Congress.
But Democrats will not give in. They believe that the pressure to put 800,000 federal employees back to work will land squarely on Trump’s back. They are in a very strong position politically, while Trump is holding a losing hand.
“The American people know that this is a Trump shutdown,” McGovern said. “Democrats will move to end the shutdown on January 3. It will be the first item of business.”
When that happens Donald Trump will see that there is a new boss in Washington, and her name is Nancy Pelosi.
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.