Trump Presidency Ends With One Last Threat Of A Government Shutdown
STERLING, VA – DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump climbs into golf cart number 45 as he golfs … at Trump National Golf Club on December 13, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia.
Its perhaps the most fitting end for a presidency plagued by crisis and mismanagement: the federal government is racing to prevent one final shutdown under the administration of President Donald Trump.
An omnibus government funding bill needed to prevent a shutdown has been repeatedly delayed over a number of issues, the most significant being an agreement on covid relief. Negotiations for the past two weeks revolved around a handful of contentious provisions, including aid to state and local governments, liability waivers for businesses accused of exposing workers or customers to covid, and a second round of stimulus checks. But the final hold-up was a last-minute demand from Sen. Pat Toomey to prohibit the Federal Reserve from continuing emergency lending programs created earlier this year by the CARES Act.
Its remarkable that Congress and President Trump would even risk the possibility of shutting down the federal government in the midst of a national emergency such as the covid pandemic. A shutdown could delay the distribution of the new vaccine to essential health-care workers or other critical public health functions.
‘i Will Shut Down The Government’ Trump Makes Threat Over Border Wall Funding
In a testy meeting with Democratic leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Donald Trump demanded billions to build a border wall and said hes willing to shut down the government later this month to get it.
If we dont get what we want, one way or the other through you or the military or anybody else, yes I will shut down the government, Trump said, sitting next to leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as press cameras rolled. I am proud to shut down the government for border security.
Pelosi and Schumer arrived at the White House expecting to have a closed-door meeting to lay out how to fund the government before money runs out on Dec. 21. But the two Democratic leaders seemed to feel ambushed when Trump began making his case for wall funding in front of reporters and reading statistics about the impact of wall construction on illegal border crossings.
I dont think we should have a debate in front of the press on this, Pelosi said. Later, as the back and forth became more forceful, Pelosi told Trump she and Schumer came to the meeting in good faith and you turned it into this kind of discussion in the public view.
This was great for Democrats, another Democratic aide told TIME. It made obvious Trumps take my ball and go home approach on the wall.
With Alana Abramson in Washington
Democrats Take Control And The Shutdown Gets Real
- : Congressional leaders from both parties meet with Trump at the White House, it is the first face-to-face meeting in three weeks. The president enlists Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to make the case for the border wall. Following the meeting, Democratic leaders reiterate that no money will be allocated for the wall.
- Democrats take over control of the House and Pelosi is elected Speaker. Later in the night, the new Democratic majority passes two bills which would both fund the government that do not include funding for the border wall. The bills even earned a handful of GOP votes. Despite the bills being nearly identical to the measures passed by the Senate before the holiday break, Republican Senate leaders reject the idea of taking up the bills.
- Congressional leaders meet with Trump at the White House, where the president told Democrats that the shutdown could last for “months or even years” if no border wall money was allocated. Democrats suggested that Trump allow the government to reopen and then fight over the wall.
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And What Happens If The Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised
First time ever, at some point between 15 October and 4 November, the US could default on its debts – currently standing at around $28 trillion – if the debt ceiling is not raised.
The implications of this for the US are catastrophic. In an article for the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the US “would emerge from this crisis a permanently weaker nation”.
And because the US remains the world’s largest economy, a default by Washington could plunge the rest of the world into chaos too.
Have There Been Other Shutdowns
There have been 21 federal government shutdowns since the modern budgeting process began. The reasons have varied from disagreements over abortion to Obamacare, among others.
A list of the shutdowns*:
- Under President Trump :
- Under President Barack Obama :
- Under President Bill Clinton :
- Under President George HW Bush :
- Under President Ronald Reagan :
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Schumer: Trump Learned No One Should Ever Underestimate Pelosi
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, reacted to President Trumps decision to reopen the government. Schumer praised Democratic unity during the shutdown and Pelosi weighed in on the State of the Union date.
The State of the Union is not planned now. Get that. What Id said to the president is when the government is open, we will discuss a mutually agreeable date. And Ill look forward to doing that and welcoming the president to the House of Representatives. No one should ever underestimate the speaker, as Donald Trump has learned. But I also, I, in addition to that and I think Nancy would be the first our Democrats stayed totally unified. Certainly in the Senate, they made huge noise. You know, many attempts to take some of our Democrats and get them to side with them, and the unity of our two caucuses really worked.
The surprise announcement was a remarkable surrender for a president who made the wall his nonnegotiable condition for reopening the government and a centerpiece of his political platform. Some immigration hard-liners that make up a key part of his political base were incensed by the capitulation.
Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States, the commentator Ann Coulter, who has aggressively pushed Mr. Trump to keep his campaign promise on the wall, .
Haven’t We Been Here Before
Yes, quite a few times. There have been 14 shutdowns since 1981, some lasting for just a day, others for over a month.
The most recent happened in 2019, when Democrats refused to agree to a budget that included $5.7 billion in federal funds to build then-President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border.
That shutdown gave us the iconic images of Mr Trump welcoming the winners of the national college football championship, the Clemson Tigers, with more than 300 McDonalds burgers as White House catering staff were prevented from working due to the shutdown.
That shutdown eventually came to an end after 35 days when Mr Trump relented on his demands.
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What Does Trump Say What Do Other Republicans Say
Trump maintains that the wall is needed to secure the US southern border with Mexico and stem irregular immigration.
Trump often evokes rhetoric aimed at sowing fear over thousands of Central Americans who, at the end of last year, fled their home countries in hopes of applying for asylum in the US. Many of those who have left have told Al Jazeera they are fleeing violence, political persecution and extreme poverty.
Trumps demand for a border wall funding comes in addition to several other measures aimed at restricting asylum seekers and immigration under the administrations zero tolerance policy.
During the shutdown, Trump repeatedly blamed the Democrats and has threatened to declare a national emergency to get the wall built, a move that would likely bring about legal challenges.
In a televised address on January 8, Trump did not mention a national emergency, but branded the situation on the border a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.
He has since said he could still declare an emergency, but he wasnt going to so fast.
During a meeting with top Democrats before the shutdown began, Trump said he would be proud to shut the government for border security. He has since warned that he is prepared for the shutdown to last years, and he told top Democrats he would look foolish if he backed down from his demand.
The Swamp Grew Even Under President Donald Trump
Republicans are very sore about Senator Manchins arrangement, which gave President Biden a huge legislative victory, and say that would be a deal-breaker, too. , not known for siding with Senator McConnell, took the Senate floor to denounce these provisions himself at length for favoring fossil fuels. Politics makes strange bedfellows.)
Do Senate Republicans really want to put it to the public that for reasons too complicated to explain, they are shutting down the government over energy provisions they and their party favors?
There are more, but let us just take one. Like all spending bills, the CR will carry, unless there is change, what has been known for a half-century as the Hyde Amendment. This prohibits Medicaid-funded abortions except under narrow circumstances. The Hyde Amendment has been an island that has survived, for good or ill, in the middle of the storm-tossed sea of abortion issues.
But, this year could be different. The reader already knows that the electorate has reacted to the Dobbs decision. So, many Democrats may push to change or even to repeal the Hyde Amendment. Conversely, repealing the Hyde Amendment is one issue that does unite Senate Republicans in opposition. Steering the CR through this struggle will be like taking it over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
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Longest Shutdown Over: Trump Signs Bill To Reopen Government
WASHINGTON Submitting to mounting pressure amid growing disruption, President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies get back to work.
Standing alone in the Rose Garden, Trump said he would sign legislation funding shuttered agencies until Feb. 15 and try again to persuade lawmakers to finance his long-sought wall. The deal he reached with congressional leaders contains no new money for the wall but ends the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
First the Senate, then the House swiftly and unanimously approved the deal. Late Friday, Trump signed it into law. The administration asked federal department heads to reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner and said furloughed employees can return to work.
The shutdown ended as Democratic leaders had insisted it must reopen the government first, then talk border security.
Senate Republicans Would Pay A High Price To Shut Down The Government To Fight Against Covid Relief Or Manchins Energy Provisions Or Liberalizing Medicaid Abortions For Poor Women
To avoid a government shutdown at the end of this month, Congress must pass the continuing resolution which funds the government. It takes 60 Senate votes for cloture on the CR. A united Senate Republican party would deny the Democrats supporting the CR from reaching 60 votes. So, the Senate Republicans can keep the CR from moving.
There is a high price to pay for Senator McConnells Senate Republicans forcing a shutdown. Three modern shutdowns have been enormously unpopular and Republicans have paid a very stiff price for them. With the midterm election only two months away, the price now would be even than in the past.
In 1995-1996, it was the Newt Gingrich shutdown. He and his party suddenly lost a part of their public momentum coming out of their 1994 election. In 2013, it was the shutdown of Congressional Republicans wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Again, the shutdown was enormously unpopular. In 2019, it was the Trump shutdown because Congress would not fund the Wall at the Mexican border. Once more the public was not happy about a shutdown for that reason.
I published a leading law review article on such shutdowns. To put it briefly, shutdowns are suicide.
Yet, Senate Republicans are lining up to say what would be a deal-breaker for them, meaning, that they would force a shutdown.
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What Do Democrats Say What Is Their Plan
Democrats view a border wall as expensive and ineffective.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has called the wall immoral. Instead, they said they are willing to fund security measures that do not include the wall.
Hours after Democrats took control of the House on January 3, they passed a two-bill spending package aimed at immediately re-opening the government. This includes $1.3bn for border fencing and $300m for other border security items such as technology and cameras.
They have since passed a number of individual spending bills aimed at opening specific federal departments. Those bills have not been brought to a vote in the Senate.
Democrats blame Trump for the impasse, often referring to it as Trump Shutdown.
In an MSNBC interview shortly after taking control of the House of Representatives, Pelosi sought to separate the issue of the wall and government funding.
The wall and the government shutdown really have nothing to do with each other, the top Democrat said, adding that it was totally irresponsible to think otherwise.
There is no reason to have workers pay a price with their paycheque, she said during the networks town hall broadcast.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he pressed the president on why he wouldnt end the shutdown.
I said, Mr President, give me one good reason why you should continue your shutdown, Schumer told reporters in early January. He could not give an answer.
Government Can’t Run Without A Budget
According the Antideficiency Act, originally enacted in 1884, federal government agencies and departments are prohibited from operating without approved funding in place. So, the impasse between Trump and Congress over the wall caused the government to shut down.
The shutdown cost the government an estimated $11 billion. Over 800,000 federal employees were partially or fully furloughed or had to work without being paid.
The back and forth between Democrats and Trump and Republicans over including funding for the wall continued until January 25, 2019. Trump said he would endorse a stopgap bill to reopen the government for three weeks while Congress could negotiate a bill everyone would agree with.
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List Of All Government Shutdowns And Their Duration
This list of government shutdowns in the past was drawn from Congressional Research Service reports:
- 2018-2019 : December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 – 34 days
- 2018 : January 20 to January 23 – 3 days
- 2018 : February 9 1 day.
- 2013 : October 1 to October. 17 – 16 days
- 1995-1996 : December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996, – 21 days
- 1995 : Nov. 14 to 19 – 5 days
- 1990 : October 5 to 9 – 3 days
- 1987 : December 18 to December 20 – 1 day
- 1986 : October 16 to October 18 – 1 day
- 1984 : October 3 to October 5 – 1 day
- 1984 : September 30 to October 3 – 2 days
- 1983 : November 10 to November 14 – 3 days
- 1982 : December 17 to December 21 – 3 days
- 1982 : September 30 to October 2 – 1 day
- 1981 : November 20 to November 23 – 2 days
- 1979 : September 30 to October 12 – 11 days
- 1978 : September 30 to October 18 18 days
- 1977 : November 30 to December 9 – 8 days
- 1977 : October 31 to November 9 – 8 days
- 1977 : September 30 to October 13 – 12 days
- 1976 : September 30 to October 11 – 10 days
Government Shutdowns In The United States
In the United States, government shutdowns occur when there is a failure to enact funding legislation to finance the government for its next fiscal year or a temporary funding measure. Ever since a 1980 interpretation of the 1884 Antideficiency Act, a “lapse of appropriation” due to a political impasse on proposed appropriation bills requires that the US federal government curtail agency activities and services, close down non-essential operations, furlough non-essential workers, and only retain essential employees in departments covering the safety of human life or protection of property. Voluntary services may only be accepted when required for the safety of life or property. Shutdowns can also occur within and disrupt state, territorial, and local levels of government.
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Since the enactment of the US government’s current budget and appropriations process in 1976, there have been a total of 22 funding gaps in the federal budget, ten of which have led to federal employees being furloughed. Prior to 1980, funding gaps did not lead to government shutdowns, until Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti issued a legal opinion requiring the government to be shut down when a funding gap occurs. This opinion was not consistently adhered to through the 1980s, but since 1990 all funding gaps lasting longer than a few hours have led to a shutdown.