UPDATE: Here we go...
It looked like President Trump was going to cave, sign a continuing resolution that would keep the government open until February, and kick the can down the road on his border wall initiative. It caused a fury with conservatives, and rightfully so. He was elected to be a fighter, to crack apart the Capitol Dome with a baseball bat. Well, that fear is now in the past. Trump isn’t going to sign the stopgap measure. Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said so today (via Roll Call):
President Donald Trump has rejected a stopgap funding bill passed by the Senate, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said following a meeting at the White House. He said House GOP leaders will try to add border security to the Senate measure before a Friday night deadline.
“The president has informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns about border security,” Ryan told reporters outside the West Wing. “So what we’re going to do is go back to the House and work with our members. We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border.”
So, we’re heading for a shutdown. It’s back on, folks. The government has until tomorrow to find a solution, but without funding for the wall; Trump isn’t budging. And he shouldn’t. It’s about time he dig in, not the least because it’s a key campaign promise where he needs to deliver. The writing was on the wall after the intense meeting in the Oval Office between Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer this month, where the three duked it over immigration out for nearly 20 minutes.
BREAKING: Speaker Ryan says Trump `will not sign' bill to keep government open, citing dispute over border wall funding.— The Associated Press (@AP) December 20, 2018
So, will we have Shutdown Theater over Christmas or not? From the Oval Office meeting between President Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it looked that way. It was quite the fireworks show, with Trump saying he would shut down the government over border security, and unlike Chuck, he would win that political battle; a not so subtle jab a the New York Democrat who shut down the government earlier this year over illegal aliens enrolled into DACA. Trump has made a border wall a top action item for his administration. It’s his signature campaign promise that he has to deliver on. In fact, I would say it’s a must-do. The GOP campaigned on repealing Obamacare for nearly a decade and failed. Republicans cannot allow another, and much less complicated, promise get torpedoed. Trump is asking for $5 billion this go-around, but with the GOP House majority about to expire after taking a 40-seat walloping in the 2018 midterms, the White House should go for the full $25 billion to fund the whole wall. What have they got to lose?
Alas, Congress didn't go that route. The border wall funding remains in legislative limbo--and it seemed for a hot second that the president was going to sign the continuing resolution that funded the government through February. Now, it's not the case. Trump is (for now) holding out for wall funding.
The president released a video on December 14 ripping the Democrats for their hypocrisy—(what else is new?) over border security and illegal immigration. The video includes clips of top Democrats, former and current, on the Hill denouncing illegal immigration and supporting border fences and obstacles—gee, I wonder what those could be?
Trump rightly says they were for all these things until he was elected. We have a red line now—and it’s one that not controversial in the slightest. Border security? If that’s the hill the Left wants to die on, be our guest.