Congressional leaders say a presidential attempt to shut down the government to gain funding for his Mexican border wall would prompt an unnecessary and probably unwinnable battle with the Senate, where Democrats have vowed to block money for what their leaders denounce as an “ineffective, immoral and expensive” barrier.
President Trump’s threat to shut down the federal government unless Congress funds his controversial border wall could end up hurting Republicans, prompting GOP leaders to try to avert the politically damaging action, USA Today reports. “Trump is the one who has threatened a shutdown, so he’s the one who’ll get the blame — except from his hard-core base,” said Jack Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College. “And he’ll hurt even the more sensible Republicans in Congress since they’re in charge and will get the blame along with him.” Congressional leaders say Trump’s action would prompt an unnecessary and probably unwinnable battle with the Senate, where Democrats have vowed to block money for what their leaders denounce as an “ineffective, immoral and expensive” barrier.
“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Trump promised a crowd of supporters in Phoenix on Tuesday, “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.” The president made it clear that he will blame “obstructionist Democrats” for a government shutdown, but Democrats say he’s the one pushing the unpopular idea. “If the President pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of the American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Funding for federal agencies will run out on Oct. 1, when a new fiscal year begins, unless Congress approves a spending package and Trump signs it into law.