Will President Trump Shut Down the Government for Lack of Border Wall Funds?

By Dan Cadman on December 7, 2018

With the approval — indeed, the encouragement — of President Trump, Congress has voted for a short-term spending measure that kicks the can down the road for another two weeks, at which time they will once again be at loggerheads over many things, but primarily funding for a wall to prevent against illegal incursions by illegal aliens and drug smugglers on our southern border.

Even as that short-term measure was sent by the Senate to the White House for signing, Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), John Kennedy (La.), and Ted Cruz (Texas) announced introduction of S. 3713, the WALL Act, a bill that would provide $25 billion to fully fund the barrier, instead of the $5 billion figure that has been most at play in discussions about a border wall. (At the time of this writing, the actual text of the legislation has not yet been posted for review.)

President Trump has threatened to shut down the government by vetoing any appropriations measure that doesn't include money for the wall, but whether he actually will is in doubt. He has made that threat before and it proved empty — and his encouragement for this most recent two-week measure gives further reason to question his resolve.

At this juncture, his shutdown threats probably sound to most legislators about like the teacher in a Charlie Brown television special, and certainly that does little to fortify the strength of his negotiating posture where on-the-fence House and Senate members are concerned.

Time is running out, though, because a Democratic majority in the House, made possible by the outcome of the midterm elections, virtually guarantees he won't get his funding when the new members are seated, leaving the matter open then for at least the next two years until the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. We will soon see whether or not he sticks to his guns.

Topics: Border Wall