President Donald Trump’s insistence on obtaining full funding for his proposed wall along the southern border will officially result in the longest lapse in federal government funding in U.S. history.
The dispute centers on a high stakes fight between Trump and Democratic lawmakers over wall funding, with the president demanding 5.7 billion dollars and the opposition offering up only 1.6 billion. Trump has made several counter-offers to Democrats to try and breakthrough in negotiations, but Democrats have insisted that they will not offer up a single dollar more than 1.6 billion unless the federal government is fully reopened.
The dispute reached its apex during a Wednesday meeting in the Situation Room when Trump asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi point-blank if he reopened the government whether she would then agree to negotiate somewhat on appropriating more funds for a border wall. When Pelosi replied “no,” Trump by his admission put his hands up in exasperation and said “bye bye.”
The extraordinary confrontation marks a continued fight with no end in sight. Stakes surrounding the effects of the shutdown begin to mount as nearly 800,000 federal workers went their first pay period cycle without a paycheck. Cascading effects have been seen at airports, national parks, and even food inspections with negative aspects beginning to creep into ordinary American life.
Despite this, however, a source close to the president told The Daily Caller “he doesn’t give a damn” broadly about the effects of the shutdown because the wall is an existential delivery both politically and for U.S. security.
“What part of when he said ‘as long as it takes’ was not clear,” the source continued.
This source close to Trump also said the president is evaluating the effects on federal workers and the government writ large in the context that it is likely his last possible chance to deliver on a signature campaign promise and end a bonafide crisis on the southern border.
Trump delivered a Tuesday night Oval Office address in which he vividly described the plight of migrant children and women being trafficked across the border. The president also participated Thursday in an extended roundtable and tour of the border in McAllen, Texas where he was shown seized drugs, guns, and told horror stories of bad border crossings.
Newly released data from the Department of Homeland Security shows that border patrol is apprehending record numbers of family units.
Trump is now floating the idea of declaring a national emergency, telling Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Thursday evening, “now if we don’t make a deal with Congress most likely I will do [declare an emergency]. I would actually say I would I can’t imagine any reason why not because I’m allowed to do it. The law is 100 percent on my side.” (RELATED: Here’s What Would Happen If Trump Declared A National Emergency To Build The Wall)
Trump has floated the idea in recent days that he may declare a national emergency at the southern border under his authority as commander in chief, which would then authorize him to begin construction on the wall with military funds.