In search of postponing an immigration deal in the ongoing game of kick the can down the road, Republicans once again are considering stalling the funding of President Trump’s “big, beautiful” border wall until after mid-term elections.
And the big man is not happy with his Congressional minions.
From his weekend away in New Jersey, President Trump tweeted “I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) have huddled recently with the president as the September 30 deadline looms for the government funding deadline.
To hear them tell it, Trump is willing to wait until after midterms to hammer the Democrats for his $5 billion down payment of the wall.
McConnell admitted recently during an interview with a Kentucky radio station that although the president wasn’t happy with a delay, he would “probably” have to wait for bipartisan negotiations until after midterms. “Probably, and that’s something we do have a disagreement on.”
Ryan also promoted Trump’s tolerance on fulfilling his biggest campaign promise by saying he is “willing to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so we can get that done. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”
Trump, however, has allies who may have whispered in his ear convincing him now is the time to strike as the pressure on Democrats prior to election day in November might help rally the Trump base and conservatives to get to the polls.
Maintaining control of both Houses by riding a pinkish wave in a non-presidential year is certainly too good to pass up. In another weekend tweet, the president reiterated the need for better border control and immigration policy:
“Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not – and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes. Congress must act on fixing the DUMBEST & WORST immigration laws anywhere in the world! Vote ‘R.’”
I don’t think that is what Ryan meant when he said Trump was “willing to be patient.”
And… the Other Guys
The Democrats have seen grandstanding on the immigration issue become the catalyst to a government shutdown: And each time, Trump and the Republicans caved under pressure.
What’s different about this red line in the sand?
Perhaps complacency is the answer as the left does not seem to be taking Trump seriously – and remember how that worked out for them in 2016? This may just be Trump with his impeccable timing, and dumb as a fox strategy, to roll over Democrats. It’s been done before.
Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) has publicly bragged that Democrats aren’t paying attention to or inclined to react to Trump’s latest threat, and shifted the dialogue during an interview with ABC:
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan
“Democrats wants to work together in a bipartisan way when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform. Democrats are standing strong when it comes to a comprehensive immigration reform conversation with the American people that is fair, that is tough.”
That’s a bit babbling and not remotely true: The Democrats refuse to compromise – on anything – that smells of bi-partisanship. They are still sulking under the hedgerow licking the festering wound of 2016 that won’t heal. Jeez, slap some Neosporin on it already and get to work.
Get it Done
Whether Trump decides to stand firm on pushing through his $5 billion stake for the “big, beautiful” wall before the September 30 deadline remains to be seen. But what is clear is his desire to reform our immigration system and secure the border.
Over the weekend, he tweeted, “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”
And most Americans agree.
Trump should stand firm on his threat to shutdown government. The timing is just right for Republicans and Democrats alike, in my humble opinion.