The Government Shutdown Could Last a Long Time

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Democrats take control of the House of Represents today and will begin the process of reopening the federal government by passing a temporary funding bill as soon as possible, but what will happen next?

Even if we assume the Republican-controlled Senate will pass the funding bill advanced by House Democrats, will Trump sign it?

According to CNN, Trump privately told Democratic leadership that he will not sign a funding bill that does not include money for his fantasy border wall because he would "look foolish."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he asked Trump why the government couldn't be reopened while the two sides work to resolve their differences.

"I asked him directly ... He could not give a good answer," Schumer said. [...]

Eventually Schumer asked a third time for one reason Trump wouldn't accept the offer, and Trump responded: "I would look foolish if I did that."

Given that the Senate unanimously passed a bill to reopen the government by a simple voice vote (meaning they didn't even count votes) just before Christmas, it's within the realm of possibility that Congress could override Trump's veto, but there's also no guarantee.

If Trump truly believes that this is his last chance to fund his wall, and if he believes failing to fund his wall will doom his chances of being reelected, I think we should expect that he won't reopen the government. At least not willingly.

It remains to be seen how quickly a new funding bill could clear through the new Congress, but I wouldn't expect to see the federal government reopened this weekend and possibly not even next week if Trump is serious.

"If Trump is serious" is a very big "if."

  • Username1016

    An acquaintance of mine thinks Trump WANTS the government shut down for as long as possible because he thinks that’ll put the brakes on Mueller. Any plausibility to that? *koff* Let me rephrase: Any plausibility to Trump believing that?

    • muselet

      It makes as much sense as anything else Donald Trump does.


  • muselet

    “I would look foolish if I did that.”

    It’s a bit late to worry about that, methinks.

    Meanwhile, Reuters yesterday quoted Mitch McConnell saying the Senate will not consider any bills to end the shutdown that do not include $5 billion for Donald Trump’s wall.

    Expect the foolish-looking Trump Shutdown over the preposterous Trump Wall to last a very long time.


    • gescove

      It certainly will if McConnell is willing to discard any remaining shred of decency he might still have to try to deliver $5B for the Dotard in Chief’s wall. Jeebus.

      • muselet

        I don’t recall Mitch McConnell ever having a shred of decency.


  • Username1016

    Welcome back, Jordan! Hope you had a good holiday.

    I look forward to watching the Nancy run rings around the Donald. She just got her gavel back, yay!

  • Draxiar

    Oh honey, you’ve looked foolish for many years. Just let the border wall go….it’s okay…you can keep the one around your plagued heart.

  • katanahamon

    I’m so excited that the new Congress has been sworn in..let’s keep sending messages via whatever contact methods you prefer to encourage the battle against the Rump family and administration. It’s really funny (..not really..) that the new Congress has been sworn in for less that what, an hour, and go look at Huffpost..articles critical already appearing like “Dems Not Rushing To Get Trump’s Tax Returns”..infuriating.

  • gescove

    Trump has boxed, or rather walled, himself in. He’s holding his breath until he gets his way because Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh were mean to him. What an asshat.