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How Trump Could 'Close Down' The Government

by Countable | 8.24.17

What's the story?

During Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix, the President vowed, "If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall. One way or the other, we’re going to get that wall."

Here are four ways he could do just that.

1. Corner Republicans

Trump’s threat is aimed at the spending package Congress needs to take on when it returns from its summer recess on September 5th—which Congress has less than a month to pass. Also, Congress only has until September 29th to raise the debt ceiling to stop the U.S. from defaulting.

Even without the $1.6 billion Trump is asking for to build his "big beautiful wall with Mexico," Republicans are divided on what should be included in the spending package.

As Trump’s rallies and his base have shown, the President has a mandate from voters for the wall.

Jon Lieber, a former senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), told Quartz that the President should start with the House: "[Trump] will have to rally conservatives inside the House to insist on having border wall funding or they won’t vote for a spending deal."

Similarly, Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the online outlet that if the Republicans don’t play ball, they’ll pay for it in the polls. "I don’t believe McConnell or Ryan wants to preside over a period of Republican control when the government shuts down," she said. “That would be highly counterproductive in showing voters that Republicans know how to govern.”

2. Threaten Democrats

To pass the spending bill, Senate Republicans need the support of at least eight Democrats to prevent a filibuster. Instead of turning his ire on the Right, Trump could instead focus it on the Left.

While this may seem unlikely given that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referred to this project as "president Trump’s multi-billion dollar border wall boondoggle," Trump has an ace up his sleeve—actually, he has 800,000.

"In the next two weeks," the Washington Post revealed, “Trump will have to decide on the fate of some 800,000 “dreamers”—people brought here illegally as children who enjoy temporary work permits and protection from deportation.”

Senior White House officials want Trump to use their fate as a "bargaining chip" to pressure the Democrats in Congress “into supporting his border wall, funding for expanded deportations, and cuts to legal immigration.”

3. Trade Negotiations With Democrats

Focusing again on Democrats, Trump could find some policy the Democrats want passed, then trade it for the border wall funds. Some include:

  • Agreeing to pay off Obamacare insurers and/or no cuts to Medicare and Medicaid

  • The aforementioned Dreamers—and DACA

  • Voting rights

  • CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) reauthorization

4. The Veto = The Shutdown

Here’s how this scenario would play out: Congress sends Trump a spending bill without money for his border wall. Trump vetoes it. Congress can’t get two-thirds majority – in both houses – to override the veto and the government shuts down.

As NBC News noted, "with the GOP in control of both chambers of Congress, Republicans believe they would suffer severe repercussions at the ballot box in 2018 if the government were forced to close its doors."

In 2013 there was a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days—it resulted in "hundreds of thousands of federal employees being furloughed, tourist destinations closing and services including food assistance and IRS audits being disrupted."

That’s something no Republican – or Democrat – wants on their resume.

What do you think?

Should Trump do what he needs to to get his wall built? Should the Democrats stand firmly against its construction? Should Republicans follow their leader? Hit Take Action and tell your reps what you want them to do, then tell the world below.

—Josh Herman

RELATED READING

LATE BREAKING: Trump Signals Standoff on Border Wall, Pardon for Convicted Sheriff & More

Trump to Visit Border Today, Updates on the Wall

If Trump Keeps Threatening Government Shutdown, Democrats Will Have Some Leverage — and Some Options – New York Magazine

(Photo Credit: CatLane / iStockphoto)

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(131)
  • Marcelluswallus
    08/24/2017
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    Instead of this wall and all of these threats that just continue to waste money, how about we simply make strides to actually take care of our own people??

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  • Patty
    08/24/2017
    ···

    Don't let Trump be the schoolyard bully and shut down the government because he doesn't get his way. The wall is a waste of money - and Mexico is not paying for it!

    Like (28)
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  • Trina
    08/24/2017
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    No money for a worthless wall. Fix our crumbling infrastructure first - Roads, bridges, and water systems. NO ONE wants a damn wall!!

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  • Brian
    08/24/2017
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    Let trump shut down the government and the repercussions for him and the republicans in 2018 and 2020 will put a stop to this shit show trump and the Republican Party call a administration

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  • Thelma
    08/24/2017
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    Donald Trump is clearly a threat to our democracy. I am calling on my Congressman, Brad Wenstrup, and Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, to end this madness. Our economy is going to tank over a wall that the majority of Americans do not want. Trump is riling up his base to be violent. He is demeaning vulnerable people. He has to go!

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  • Ftwchris
    08/24/2017
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    This incompetent idiot is seriously a threat to our democracy, I wonder how much longer this can go on.

    Like (18)
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  • Oneda
    08/24/2017
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    It needs to be a priority here to sanction Trump's words and actions. He has his own private agenda and seems to be willing to go to any length to get them done -- regardless of harm done to others or to America. His words and actions cause harm on a daily basis. It needs to stop!

    Like (16)
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  • Sherri
    08/24/2017
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    If we don't have money for the necessities of life, like healthcare for all, then we sure as hell shouldn't be throwing money at a stupid wall.

    Like (15)
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  • Sonja
    08/24/2017
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    This is asinine! No to the wall! No to trump trying to shut down the government. He is a liar and hasn't kept any of his idiotic promises, classic conman. The question is, why isn't he impeached yet? Even the republicans can see what an unhinged senile old man he is, while simultaneously managing to act like a child.

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  • Gail
    08/25/2017
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    He should work on shutting his mouth first.

    Like (11)
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  • Dee
    08/24/2017
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    No wall. Put that billions into healthcare, job creation, education etc. impeach trump. Do not let trump win or we all lose

    Like (10)
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  • Debra
    08/24/2017
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    Congress needs to unite and stand against this fake president. You don't govern by threats and using young people as bargaining chips. He needs to do what's in the best interests of the public not stroke his ego. We don't need a useless border wall. It's ridiculous to waste money on that when so many other valid things could be done with money. If he shuts down the government that means soldiers don't get paid. We have people defending this country risking their lives, they don't do that for free so this lame ass president can play golf. I'm sick of him.

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  • Rick
    08/25/2017
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    Suspend all his executive powers!! Now!

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  • Catherine
    08/25/2017
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    Do not fund Trump's wall. Surely we can find better ways to protect our border without spending the money to build a wall. And do not shut down the government no matter what!

    Like (8)
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  • Lawrence
    08/25/2017
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    No wall, No Funding for a wall, let the President use his own funds to build his wall.

    Like (6)
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  • BeStrong
    08/24/2017
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    I am telling my elected officials...I don't want you to surrender to Mr Trump on the dang border wall. It's his propaganda trophy and if you move with him, it's your job. When are Republicans and Democrats going shout out, hell no Mr Trump. Enough with this nonsense. Enough.

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  • Michele
    08/24/2017
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    I suspect he will veto any bill that doesn't pay for the wall (which he said was to be paid for my Mexico not us!). Then congress will override the veto for fear of losing their jobs in 2018. Trump will claim victory by pushing for the wall and being stopped by the "swamp" and his base will be happy and America will be further divided. I hope I'm wrong and he finally backs down from something and does the right thing.

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  • Care4all
    08/25/2017
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    Don't fall for Trump's threats. There's still enough good people in Washington face him down on this subject. No wall!

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  • Susan
    08/24/2017
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    The "wall" is only for political purposes. Instead of all the threats and continued waste of money, how about we use that energy and money to make headway in taking care of our own.

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  • Suzi
    08/25/2017
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    Democrats and republicans should stand firmly against construction of the wall. Donald trump should get a haircut, on many sides, on many sides.

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