Trump Returns From Iraq With Looming Dem House Takeover, As Shutdown Continues
President Donald Trump returned to Washington, D.C. Thursday from a surprise Christmas visit to U.S. troops in Iraq, as he works to end a partial government shutdown.
With a Democratic takeover of the House looming, Trump aimed his fire at Democratic lawmakers almost immediately upon landing at Andrews Air Force Base, saying:
Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country. Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
Democrats are set to take over the House of Representatives on Jan. 3, making any potential deal to end the partial government shutdown much more difficult. The White House and congressional Republicans have only days left of control over both branches of government before the deadline passes, though no progress toward a deal appears to have happened. (RELATED: Is Trump Blowing His Last Chance To Get The Wall?)
Trump is currently demanding $5 billion in funding for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but Democrats are only willing to give up to $1.6 billion for border security. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have vowed they will not appropriate a single dollar toward the border wall.
The Trump administration’s negotiations with Congress have largely focused on Democratic senators, who must provide some of the needed 60 votes to advance a piece of legislation to the floor.
Pelosi vowed shortly after the partial government shutdown that when she assumed her speakership of the House, Democrats would put forth legislation attempting to open the government without any of the president’s demands.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 22, 2018
The White House appeared to acknowledge that the shutdown could extend toward the new Congress, though currently no indications exist of a willingness to compromise. “I think that is — it’s very possible that the shutdown will be on the 28th and into the new Congress,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News earlier this week.
Both Democrats and the White House have taken absolutist positions toward funding for the border wall. Complicating matters further is the lack of urgency brought upon only by a partial government shutdown.
Approximately 75 percent of the federal government remains open, minimizing the effect of the shutdown on the daily lives of Americans. The lack of political urgency generated by the partial shutdown could prolong it past the day of the Democratic House takeover.