Trump held an exceptionally unhinged rally in Arizona last week where he called for shutting down the government for border wall funding and announced that he would pardon birther posse sheriff Joe Arpaio, but according to the Washington Post he backed down on border wall funding almost immediately afterward.
Trump reportedly surrendered to congressional leadership last Thursday.
“Build that wall,” Trump said at the Aug. 22 rally in Phoenix. “Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it. But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall.”
But two days later, White House officials quietly notified Congress that the $1.6 billion would not need to be in a “continuing resolution” that was meant to fund government operations from October until sometime in early December, a senior GOP congressional aide said.
This means we'll have to go through this song and dance all over again in November, but this will mark the second time Trump has backed down from his threats to shut down the government over border wall funding. Trump also bluffed earlier this year when the federal government was funded for the remainder of fiscal 2017. There's no reason to think he'll be more willing do follow through in December.
Of course, even if Trump weren't elected, there's a pretty good chance we'd be talking about the possibility of a government shutdown. That has been the case almost every year since 2011 when Republicans first took control of the House of Representatives, hasn't it?
Flirting with a possible government shutdown is a Republican tradition at this point. The GOP isn't capable of passing legislation through regular order, unless it's an abortion bill, so their collective desires are eventually jettisoned in favor of giant omnibus spending bills that more or less serve as a referendum on their ability to wipe their own asses.