by Countable | 1.17.19
What’s the story?
- We’ve almost hit the one-month mark for the partial government shutdown that shows no signs of resolution: Trump continues to demand $5.7 billion in federal funding to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) continue to reject providing any money for a barrier.
- Meanwhile, approximately 800,000 federal workers aren’t receiving their paychecks, travellers are reporting longer lines at airports due to short staffing at TSA checkpoints, and sections of national parks remain closed after visitors trashed toilets and trees.
- Trump said the shutdown could go on for “months or even years”—but here are possible ways the impasse could be broken.
Trump drops calls for wall funding
- At the center of the shutdown is Trump’s promise to his supporters to “build a great, great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall.”
- As the CBC wrote, “If Trump caved on the wall, the shutdown would be over. And since it's gone on for so long, he could make the case that he did everything within his power to build it and that he only failed because of obstructionist Democrats.”
- This outcome is, of late, unlikely: a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed a majority of Republicans support the shutdown.
Democrats agree to fund the wall
- Democrats could agree to provide Trump the $5.7 billion he’s requested for his border wall with Mexico.
- Given that the majority of Democrats are against the wall, and providing Trump any funds for it, this is unlikely. As Schumer said:
“We can secure our border without an expensive, ineffective wall. And we can welcome legal immigrants and refugees without compromising safety and security. The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."
Compromise between (D)s and Trump
- A compromise would allow both Trump and Democrats to say they “won” the shutdown fight.
- A possibility that has been floated is providing border-wall funds in exchange for amnesty for so-called “Dreamers”—the nearly one million youngsters brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
- Trump has continued flirting with the idea of declaring a state of emergency to secure wall funding.
- The president said that while he remains open to declaring a national emergency to get his wall funded, he’d “rather not” as it's the “easy way out.”
"Congress should do this. This is too simple. It's too basic. And Congress should do this. If they can't do it, I will declare a national emergency. I have the absolute right to do it," Trump said last Friday.
What do you think?
Which option – if any – would you pick to end the shutdown? How would you end the shutdown? Any suggestions for Congress? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Greg Bulla)