President Donald Trump is insistent he will emerge victorious in a fight with Democratic lawmakers over funding for the border wall while his advisers have increasingly warned him of the partial government shutdown’s ramifications, sources familiar with the situation tell The Daily Caller.
Trump has told confidants in recent days that he is determined to secure some sort of concession from Democratic lawmakers for border barrier funding, even if it means a prolonged partial government shutdown, two sources familiar with the president’s thinking told TheDC. Trump is particularly incensed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s public position that she will not compromise in any way with the administration over funding.
The White House has delivered several offers to Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to end the shutdown, but they have been rebuffed at every turn. Pelosi told Trump in their last face-to-face encounter that she would not even negotiate over increased border barrier funding if he re-opened the government.
The absolutist position of both Democratic lawmakers and Trump has many of his senior advisers worried about economic ramifications. Trump’s advisers have privately tried to shepherd the president toward a scenario where he re-opens the government, as his own administration revised the cost of the shutdown to the overall U.S. economy. (RELATED: Democratic Rep. Katie Hill Says She Would Fund Border Barrier, Blames Impasse On ‘Semantics’)
As the shutdown enters its fourth week, the White House revealed to The New York Times on Tuesday that the U.S. economy is losing .13% economic growth per week. Advisers warned Trump in a recent meeting that if he stuck to his previous pledge to keep the shutdown going for “months or even years,” he risked erasing the narrative of economic growth under his administration, according to one source with direct knowledge.
This source noted that Trump is obsessed with touting historic economic growth seen in his administration and that those close to him are worried that a prolonged shutdown could even lead to negative growth in the first quarter of 2019.
The presidential advisers’ counsel comes as both sides appear more intransigent than ever, with Trump holding fast for his demand of $5.7 billion in funding. The president is also mulling declaring a national emergency, which would provide him with emergency military funding that he could use to build a wall without congressional authorization.
Trump, however, is shying away from the national emergency declaration, wary of inevitable push-back by Republican members of Congress and setting a precedent his successors could use for political advantage.