Friday, 21 December 2018

Trump Defeats Pelosi in Border-wall Fight; Promises Shutdown if McConnell Fails

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President Trump is halfway to his goal of more than $5 billion for a border wall to stop illegal immigration, and, perhaps, to giving the Democrats a beating they aren’t going to forget.

Late yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill containing $5.7 billion for a wall that will provide the government with enough money to operate through February 8.

Now the Senate must vote.

If the Senate doesn’t give Trump a bill with that $5.7 billion for a wall, he warned in an early-morning tweetstorm, the government will shut down:

Screenshot 2018 12 21 Donald J Trump on Twitter

Now, Trump is urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the so-called nuclear option to pass the bill in the Senate, which would hand the party of open borders a crushing defeat.

Trump Tweetstorm
Trump took to Twitter last night and this morning to crow about the 217-185 victory in the House.

At 5:00 a.m., the president tweeted his advice to McConnell, a weak sister in the Senate who had all but surrendered to the Senate Democrats when he allowed a bill with no wall funding to pass on Wednesday.

Screenshot 2018 12 21 Donald J Trump on Twitter2

And he thanked Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Missouri, for suggesting the move:

Screenshot 2018 12 21 Donald J Trump on Twitter3

Daines tweeted the idea yesterday.

The so-called nuclear option is a parliamentary tactic that enables the Senate to override the 60-vote rule to end a debate. Once that rule is overridden, a bill passes with the usual 51-vote majority. Not using that option would doom the bill because the GOP does not have the 60 votes required to end debate.

The question is whether McConnell has the spine to put Schumer and the Democrats in their place. That is by no means certain.

Screenshot 2018 12 21 Donald J Trump on Twitter4

Trump also tweeted another shutdown threat with video of last week’s Oval Office contretemps with incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!” Trump warned.

And apropos of Pelosi’s challenge in that meeting for Trump to attempt passing a bill with $5.7 billion in border-wall money, the president zinged the San Francisco Democrat for her failed prognostication that such a bill would not pass. “Soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, last week live from the Oval Office, that the Republicans didn’t have the votes for Border Security,” Trump crowed. “Today the House Republicans voted and won, 217-185. Nancy does not have to apologize. All I want is GREAT BORDER SECURITY!”

Trump also thanked Republicans for standing firm and again lambasted the Democrats for denying the obvious truth that border walls stop illegal immigration. “The Democrats are trying to belittle the concept of a Wall, calling it old fashioned,” he wrote. “The fact is there is nothing else that will work, and that has been true for thousands of years. It’s like the wheel, there is nothing better. I know tech better than anyone, & technology.”

That why Israel uses them, Trump tweeted.

Trump Stood Fast
Though Trump told Pelosi and Schumer last week that he’d be “proud” to “wear the mantel” of the shutdown, it appeared he had weakened on Wednesday.

But Trump’s conservative backers, most notably columnist Ann Coulter, revolted and warned him that backing down on what might have been his most significant campaign promise would cost him the election in 2020.

Trump, apparently, was listening and reading.

But is McConnell listening to and reading Trump?

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Image: flickr / Michael Vadon

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