Republican leaders sit Trump down: Time to give up
Republicans in Congress are ready to cave on their demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the southern border, and are desperate to convince Trump to join them.
GOP leaders “mounted a quick campaign” to convince Trump that the funding deal hammered out by a bipartisan congressional group should be viewed as a win, according to Politico.
“I’m inclined to be for something that gets us out of the current logjam we are in,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune told Politico, grateful for any funding Democrats allowed for wall funding, even if it is far less than Thune and Republicans fought for.
The deal Republicans agreed to is nothing less than total capitulation to the demands Democrats have been making for months. Instead of the $5.7 billion Trump demanded for wall funding, the compromise offers $1.375 billion for fencing, including 55 miles of new bollard fencing. The new agreement is lessthan what Democrats offered in the summer of 2018, when the funding was $1.6 billion for 65 miles of new fencing.
Despite a significant loss on a key issue, Republicans are desperate to spin the agreement as a win in hopes Trump will not shut down the government again.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even praised the compromise as a “good deal” and hopes the Senate will act on it soon.
But Politico reports Republicans are worried Trump will ignore their pleas and listen to far-right Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity, who called the deal a “garbage compromise.”
Republicans might be right to worry. When asked about the deal at a Tuesday photo-op for a Cabinet meeting, Trump said, “Am I happy? The answer is no, I’m not. I’m not happy.”
The last time Trump was not happy about a funding deal, he threw a tantrum and shut down the government for 35 days. During that time, 800,000 federal workers were not paid, national parks were destroyed, air travel was less safe, America’s national security was put at risk, and the economy lost $11 billion.
All the while, the American public placed the blame squarely on Trump and congressional Republicans, who together refused to reopen the government without the $5.7 billion for a wall.
The standoff ended when Trump caved and agreed to reopen the government without wall funding. And it seems that Republicans are caving yet again to Democratic demands.
It only remains to be seen if GOP leaders can talk Trump into relenting yet again, or if Trump decides he wants to hold workers and the country hostage another time.
Published with permission of the American Independent. Attribution: Dan Desai Martin.