It was an awkward moment in the Oval Office this week. President Trump met with his archenemies Nancy Pelosi, who will soon regain the Speaker’s gavel, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The meeting was postponed due to the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. The border wall remains a lingering issue. The stopgap measure to keep the government funded until December 21 kicks the can down the road, though it prevented a partial shutdown on December 7. House Democrats are standing firm, lusting to take their newfound majority for a spin and not give Trump a cent for the wall. Senate Democrats are more willing to fork over some cash for border security, some $1.3 billion, which is not making House Democrats happy.
With the threat of a shutdown still looming over this border wall, a critical Trump campaign promise, the president said that if Democrats don’t give him the funds, he’ll just ask the military to do it (via AP):
President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to pressure Democratic congressional leaders into supporting his demand for billions of dollars to build his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, threatening to have the military build it “if Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country.”
Trump tweeted the threat hours before Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi were to meet with Trump at the White House in an effort to avert a partial government shutdown on Dec. 21, when funding for some agencies is scheduled to expire.
Trump said he looked forward to meeting with Schumer and Pelosi, but claimed they don’t want border security for “strictly political reasons.”
“If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!” Trump said.
Schumer and Pelosi said Monday that Republicans have the power to keep the government open since they control Congress and the White House.
Republican congressional leaders have repeatedly said it’s up to Trump to cut a deal with Democrats, an acknowledgment of their inability to produce spending bills with Republican votes alone.
That gives Democrats some momentum heading into the closed-door talks, which also could veer into bipartisan bills on criminal justice reform and reauthorizing farm programs.
By far, the biggest unresolved issue is the border wall. Trump wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for it, an idea Democrats have flatly rejected.
Do it, Trump. Get the wall built.