The president unleashed a torrent of tweets Friday to demand a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
What seemed unlikely a week ago appeared far more likely on Friday morning: a partial government shutdown that could last “for a very long time,” President Trump threatened in an early morning tweet.
Trump was emboldened by the passage of a continuing resolution in the House Thursday evening that would provide $5 billion for the wall’s construction and keep unfunded agencies operating through Feb. 8. There is little chance the bill would get through the Senate, where 60 votes are required for passage. Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators to return to Washington and be prepared to vote around noon. (The Senate had already passed a clean CR to keep agencies open until Feb. 8, pushing the debate over wall funding into 2019 when Democrats will control the House.)
If the Senate fails to approve the House CR as expected, the House could then vote on the Senate bill, sending it to the president. Whether Trump would sign such a bill remains in doubt.
The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Congress and Trump have until midnight to enact a spending package representing roughly one quarter of discretionary spending or there will be a partial government shutdown. Among the federal entities at risk of shutting down some or all of their operations are the departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, State, Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security and Justice, as well as other independent agencies.