Trump Lashes Out as House Struggles with Avoiding Shutdown

Saul Bowman
December 21, 2018

Republicans in the House of Representatives were scrambling to try to amend a Senate-passed bill to appease Trump after he said he would not sign the legislation. That spending bill still needs to be passed by the Senate.

"We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries - but not for our beloved U.S.A." he wrote. That press conference is now canceled as leadership regroups. The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, wouldn't be affected by any government shutdown because it's an independent agency.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Democrats oppose Trump's border demands because the wall is "inefficient" and because Trump, as a candidate, promised that Mexico would pay for it, which Mexico has refused to do.

The White House said on Tuesday it would search for already appropriated government funds to be redirected towards building the wall, since Congress was not cooperating with its request for the money.

An extension however, would prolong the wall debate into 2019 when the House will be controlled by the Democrats.

Trump directed his ire at Democrats, tweeting that they were "putting politics over country".

These groups have always been concerned that Trump's political interests of fulfilling a campaign promise to build the wall might be prioritized over other more important enforcement priorities.

There have been reports that some conservative lawmakers urged Trump to veto it.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh said Mr Trump is going to "get less than nothing". The immigration funding couldn't be used for a wall, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Can Trump Build the Wall Without Approval from Congress?

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the current no. 2 highest-ranking Senate Republican, predicted on Wednesday that Trump would sign it.

Trump has not yet said he will support the measure as it does not include any funding for the U.S.

The White House has not provided details of that effort but leading Democrats have warned that shifting funds around in such a way would have to be approved by Congress. While she expressed openness to additional funds for issues like disaster aid, she said wall funding would be a dealbreaker for Democrats.

Senators late Wednesday approved by voice vote a measure that keeps the government funded to February 8.

But after the White House meeting, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the president insists on wall funding. They say he will have even less leverage when Democrats take control of the House on January 3. Asked what happens if the vote fails, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES') says: "That's a negative attitude". Without a deal, the government will partially shut down Friday at midnight. Just last week Trump said he would be "proud" to shut down the government over his demand for $5 billion for the wall. Trump had signaled on Wednesday that he would sign the deal.

Trump told the crowd, which included the bipartisan group of lawmakers who spearheaded the farm bill, that securing the nation's borders was his "solemn promise" and that illegal immigration reportedly costs $275 billion per year.

RJ Hauman, the government relations director at FAIR, which advocates for stronger immigration enforcement, said the most important issue is not necessarily about the 11 million people now in the country illegally, but making sure another 11 million or more follow because the appropriate enforcement protections are not in place.

It's unclear how many House Republicans, with just a few weeks left in the majority before relinquishing power to House Democrats, will even show up midweek for possible votes.

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