Congress just took another step toward making Donald Trump’s most idiotic campaign promise a reality.
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee revealed a bill to fund Homeland Security matching the administrations’ request of $1.6 billion, much of which is to be used as a down payment of sorts on Trump’s border wall on the US/Mexico border.
But that money will likely never get off the House floor, as Democrats will likely never vote in favor of a bill that will fund the wall, which may lead to a government shutdown this fall.
Senate Democrats are sure to object to any government funding bill with money for the wall, and they successfully pressured Republicans to keep out wall money from a funding bill earlier this year. With many Republicans skittish about being blamed for a shutdown, GOP insiders expect a replay.
Still, Trump and his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, have said they won’t cave so readily this time — even if it means shutting down the government. And already conservatives in the House are urging the administration to embrace the hardball strategy.
“I am willing to do whatever it takes in the Senate to ensure President Trump’s promise to the American people is kept,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a Freedom Caucus member who’s running for Senate — in part on a platform to build the wall. “I’ll aggressively oppose every single spending bill that doesn’t fund the border wall and expose every Republican establishment senator who sides with the Democrats against our president.”
The thirst for a showdown to check off a campaign promise will only be even greater if Republicans fail to pass an Obamacare repeal bill. Trump was furious earlier this year when Beltway coverage of a spending deal portrayed him as a loser in the wall standoff with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
After that May bill was struck down by Democrats, Trump tweeted that “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” Afterwards, Mulvaney said the president’s tweet meant “that we might need a shutdown at some point to drive home that this place, that Washington, needs to be fixed.”
With Mulvaney possibly trying to convince Trump that a shutdown may be good for his agenda and to not be a “loser” in negotiations again, you can fully expect this to happen. Trump’s fragile ego can’t handle losing the same fight twice.