It appears that President Trump recovered his courage and will, indeed, refuse to sign a bill to continue funding the government past December 21 if he does not get $5 billion to help build a wall to stop illegal immigration.
Trump had promised to remain firm, saying he’d be proud to shut down the government. Then yesterday, he suggested he would sign a bill to fund the government and would get his wall another way.
But today, at a meeting with GOP members of the House, after the Senate passed a funding bill last night, the president again put down an ultimatum: no wall funding, no bill signing to avoid a shutdown.
Trump’s base — and open-borders Democrats — thought the president would fold.
Hours later, House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from a meeting with the president with the bad news — at least for incoming Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who surely thought the Trump would fold his cards.
“The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security,” Ryan said. “We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border. We have very serious concerns about securing our border.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House spokeswoman, reiterated Trump’s early-morning tweet at a news conference after the GOP confab ended: “We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.”
Fight Now, Not Later
Republicans who back the president on immigration rightly said that now is the time to fight Pelosi and open-borders Democrats, with Republicans still in the majority, not next session when Democrats run the House.
“We have to fight now or America will never believe we’ll fight,” Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina told Republicans on Thursday, the Post reported. “The time to fight is now,” said Representative Paul Gosar on the House floor on Wednesday.
“I think the question people are asking is: When is it better to have the fight?” asked Representative Ken Cramer of North Dakota, who joins Republicans in the Senate next session. “And is it better to have the fight on our own terms or is it better to have the fight on Nancy Pelosi’s terms?”
Maybe, but the message from Trump is clear: No money for the wall, no money to keep the bureaucracy running.
The GOP will attempt to get border-wall funding, the Post reported, but it “has almost no chance of passing.” Democrats are united against it. They’re determined to keep the borders open and future Democratic voters pouring in.
But conservatives didn’t and don’t care what the Democrats do. They expected Trump to keep his word on border security and a wall. A backlash from his base just might have kept The Donald strong, the Times observed.
Of particular note was the vicious column by conservative columnist Ann Coulter, a key Trump backer. “GUTLESS PRESIDENT IN WALL-LESS COUNTRY,” Coulter wrote in a tweet and headline that riffed off this corker from the New York Post: “HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR.”
“It is now crystal clear that one of two things is true,” she wrote. “Either Trump never intended to build the wall and was scamming voters all along, or he has no idea how to get it done and zero interest in finding out.”
“On the basis of his self-interest alone,” she wrote after reciting a litany of his weaknesses, “he must know that if he doesn't build the wall, he has zero chance of being re-elected and a 100 percent chance of being utterly humiliated.”
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