As Trump's attacks on congressional Republicans ramped up, it appeared increasingly unlikely to me that the leaders he's attacking would be willing to shut down the government just to please him, but the wild card has always been the House Batshit Caucus which counts enough members to be a monkey in the wrench.
That may not be the case as Flying Monkey Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) now says his members will vote for a continuing resolution to fund the federal government beyond the fiscal 2018 deadline even if it doesn't include funding for Trump's fantasy border wall.
“I don’t want to talk for the entire Freedom Caucus, we haven’t taken a formal position on that, but generally speaking, in talking to a number of my members, if there was a vote for a continuing resolution next week that did not include border wall funding, the majority of those members would be supportive of that,” Meadows said on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.
If this is indeed the case, that's it. That's the game. If the Freedom Caucus won't force the issue, it will never happen. There will be no border wall funding and there won't be a government shutdown.
This highlights the fact that Trump is a sucker to the nth degree because, as you may recall, Trump issued the order to kick transgender service members out of the military because the Freedom Caucus threatened to vote against border wall funding if it didn't include a ban on transgender service.
As it turns out, they aren't willing to fight for border wall funding even though Trump has already ordered the transgender service ban.
It's notable that we've more or less accepted or settled on the idea of the federal government being funded by yet another continuing resolution. That has been the case for several years now and the prediction that we'll still be on an Obama budget in 2018 is very close to becoming a reality. Current spending levels are nearly identical to levels first agreed to in 2015.
Congressional Republicans skipped the appropriations process this year so they could focus on other things like Obamacare repeal, border wall funding, and "tax reform," but they haven't accomplished any of those things yet.
Now that I think about it, it's remarkable how little Speaker Paul Ryan has accomplished during his tenure. One could hardly blame the hardliners if they call for Ryan's job in the near future because the truth is he's done jack shit. The only actions Ryan can put in the 'win' column are minor regulatory changes that most people have already forgotten about. John Boehner accomplished more than Ryan. In fact, Boehner accomplished more deficit reduction than self-styled deficit warrior Paul Ryan has.