Desperate for a legislative win, Trump is ready to shutdown the government

The clock is ticking.

President Donald Trump, flanked by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, talks in Kenosha, Wis., April 18, 2017. CREDIT: AP/Susan Walsh
President Donald Trump, flanked by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, talks in Kenosha, Wis., April 18, 2017. CREDIT: AP/Susan Walsh

As the deadline for a spending bill looms, the Trump administration is reportedly throwing a monkey wrench into negotiations. The Trump administration is fighting for border wall funding or a crackdown on sanctuary cities, according to Politico, to give the president a victory during his first 100 days in office.

Desperate for a win, the administration is risking a government shutdown by insisting on funding the border wall. Congress has until April 28 to clear a spending bill — but negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate stalled over the last 24 hours after White House officials showed they wouldn’t move on funding the wall, Politico reported on Thursday evening.

To further complicate matters is Trumpcare 2.0. After Republican leaders yanked the Republican health care bill from the House floor last month, Trump pressed Republicans to revive the bill. This week, Trump said he was confident that Republicans would pass both a health care bill and spending bill very soon.

“We have a good chance of getting it soon — whether it’s next week or shortly thereafter,” Trump said of the health care bill on Thursday.

Trump has not indicated he supports the inclusion of Obamacare payments in the spending bill, which Democrats are pushing hard for. The payments are for cost-sharing subsidies that help low-income people get health care. President Trump is still considering whether to continue payments for the Obamacare subsidies, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week.

The subsidies were challenged by House Republicans when they sued the Obama administration in 2014. House Republicans claimed Congress did not appropriate the funds, and although a federal judge agreed, the judge let them stay in place as it waited for the administration to appeal the decision. Now it’s up to the Trump administration to continue litigating to keep the payments in place.

Democrats have raised the possibility of a government shutdown if cost-sharing subsidies are left out of the spending bill. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared hopeful that Congress could avert a government shutdown. Schumer told reporters a shutdown wouldn’t happen as long as “the president doesn’t interfere and insist on poison pill amendments to be shoved down the throat of the Congress.”

But Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has strained those talks by insisting that Congress consider funding for the border wall.

Mulvaney told the Associated Press that the wall is a “tremendous priority for us.”

“We know there are a lot of people on the Hill, especially in the Democratic Party, who don’t like the wall, but they lost the election. And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration,” Mulvaney added in his interview with the Associated Press.

Although some Republicans are considering a continuing resolution to keep the government operating until September, it’s unclear if enough members of Congress are on board with that option.