President Donald Trump said he was prepared for a long government shutdown during a bill signing ceremony Friday, as the U.S. Senate is expected to reject a bill that provides $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We are totally prepared for a very long shut down. This is our only chance that we will ever have in our opinion,” Trump declared of his chances at securing funding for his proposed wall. Trump frequently said that it is “totally up to the Democrats” on whether they want to reject the bill or not. (Related: Trump Moves Towards Shutdown Over Wall Funding)
“It’s up to the Democrats. It’s really the Democrat shut down. We’ve done our thing,” he said. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives Thursday night and fully provides the requested $5 billion for the border wall. The passage of the bill is particularly noteworthy because Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Trump in the Oval Office last week that he did not have the votes in the House for such a bill.
Trump’s declaration comes after he urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option to end the filibuster in the upper chamber, securing the bill’s passage.
Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Trump’s instruction for McConnell may, however, fall on deaf ears, with the Senate leader promising in 2017 that he would never end the filibuster in order to advance legislation. “There’s not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster,” McConnell declared in 2017. “Not one.”