Trump waved a white flag and agreed to sign a bill that funds the federal government for several weeks, but what's going to happen when funding runs out on February 15th?
There's no doubt that House Democrats will pass a bill to keep the government running beyond that point, but will Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hold a vote on it? Will Trump sign it?
It's anyone's guess, but Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney appeared on CBS and Fox News yesterday morning where he implied that Trump might shut down the government again.
“He’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border,” Mulvaney said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” one of two appearances on Sunday talk shows. “What he wants to do is fix this the way that things are supposed to get fixed with our government, which is through legislation.”
Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump will insist on a “wall where we need it the most and where we need it the quickest” that isn’t “a 2,000 mile sea-to-shining-sea wall.” He didn’t say whether the president would take less than the $5.7 billion he’s been demanding in order to ink a deal.
A congressional conference committee will be meeting to discuss funding for border security over the next three weeks, but if you asked me I'd say there's virtually no chance the conference committee will produce something that can pass through both chambers of Congress. And even if they do, it may not be enough to satisfy Trump.
I honestly have no idea if Trump will be willing to shut down the government again in just three weeks, but congressional Republicans may be slightly less inclined to go along with him. At least some Republicans may start considering self-preservation ahead of the next election.
Trump's poll numbers cratered as the longest shutdown in our history continued and that's going to affect every single Republican who appears underneath him on ballots in 2020.