It can be said at this point that U.S. President Donald Trump is not fond of the established political processes of the United States. Time and time again, he rages against the Department of Justice over inquiries into his team — and he also remains furious at the fact that he can’t just sign items like spending bills into law without consulting anyone else.
POLITICO is now reporting on a behind-the-scenes manifestation of this from earlier this week. According to the publication, during a closed door meeting that included some U.S. Senators and members of his administration, Trump raged at the prospect of not getting the full $25 billion he wants to use to put up a wall between his country and Mexico, suggesting he would shut down the government over the issue.
It’s ironic, of course, that this funding issue is even a thing for the president, since he’s pledged time and time again to have Mexico pay for the border wall, although it’s not as though many outside of his core base ever thought there was even a remote possibility that would happen.
Now, Trump has turned his rage about the issue on his own party and even his own White House. The original request that Congress plans to fulfill this fall for $1.6 billion for spending on the wall came from his own administration, since as POLITICO notes, government projects don’t generally get the full amount needed for them dished out at once — Congress maintains closer control than that.
Trump doesn’t seem to get that though. He told those present at the Monday meeting in question that he was prepared to refuse to sign a spending bill sent to his desk later this year if it didn’t include what he wanted for the wall, even reportedly raising his voice a few times in so doing. If he doesn’t sign the spending bill, the government shuts down, meaning that Trump is prepared to hold the entire government in limbo for the sake of his wall.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) tried to do damage control while speaking to POLITICO, commenting of Trump:
‘He’s focused on border security. And like all presidents, he wants it done now. But we’re part of the legislative process, it’s slower and deliberate.’
If Trump does choose to buck that process this fall and shut down the government, it will no doubt weigh heavily on the midterm elections to be held in November. Republicans hope to maintain a majority in both houses of Congress, but there’s a rising tide of Democratic opposition.
He’s actually suggested shutting down the government over border wall funding in the past, although neither of the two government shutdowns that have happened under his presidency have actually been his direct doing, with the funding stalls having unfolded in Congress instead.
As we wait to see what path Trump chooses to take come the time to approve continued funding for the U.S. government, his administration – until this week — continued on with their policy of separating children from their families after crossing the border without documentation or authorization in order to try and deter further immigration. It’s one component of their continued broad anti-immigrant policy.
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