President Trump will have to ignore the results of the most recent congressional elections and get back to work with his current congressional body as a partial government shutdown is potentially two weeks away.
Congress has made a habit of kicking the can down the road and rather than passing a balanced budget for the entire year, scoring short-term agreements.
Their process is two-fold: Facing a deadline like a government shut down, some people within Congress dig in their heels and refuse to cave on issues, some are more conciliatory when faced with potentially being blamed for the shutdown; also, Congress as a whole struggles to balance the yearly budget without making major cuts to their spending—something which would reflect poorly with constituents—so they make incremental cuts throughout the year.
So, it’s that time again.
This time, however, it seems both Republicans and Democrats are unmovable is their interests just ahead of the new year. Republicans are looking to get one last big win before they lose their majority in the House of Representatives. Democrats are looking to implement a different strategy: should they make it look like Republicans will not be able to get the big win they are looking for (by resisting the bill in the Senate), Republicans may look to compromise and score any win over no win.
The gridlock continues.
But, the wild card in this mix: President Trump.
He could tip the power struggle in one way or the other. Should he show a willingness to work with the Democrat Party in the next Congress, maybe they will meet his halfway on their demands, Politico reports.
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President Donald Trump is pressuring Republicans to obtain at least $5 billion for his border wall, far more than what Senate Democrats are prepared to give. Democrats in turn are considering pushes for legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller and the elimination of a citizenship question from the next census, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has made clear he’s in no mood to swallow a major concession on wall money that would boost the president, publicly urging Trump to stay out of the negotiations.
But Trump is unbowed. He’s refused to rule out a shutdown and has told GOP leaders that he wants no less than $5 billion for the wall, according to sources familiar with internal talks. That’s more modest than Trump’s earlier demands, which went as high as $25 billion.
And some Republicans are still eager to help him get there. Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced a bill providing $25 billion for the wall while proposing to pay for it by cutting benefits for undocumented immigrants and levying fines on people who cross the border illegally.
“Here is the thing: Walls work. We know they work,” Inhofe said in introducing his bill.
Republicans are considering $25 billion to fully cover the border wall funding, Democrats have drawn their line at $1.6 billion. Trump is asking for $5 billion. Who will blink first?
From the report:
House Republicans, meanwhile, are eager to deliver Trump more wall money while they are in the majority and meet the president’s demand of $5 billion in their spending bill. A senior House Republican aide said the House is still working toward that number in year-end spending talks, and Senate Republicans say they are right there with them.
“He’s very committed to that. We are too,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the incoming majority whip. “I’m hoping we’re able to get closer to what he’s trying to do in terms of funding the wall.”
If both sides remain at odds, congressional leaders will have to begin weighing fallback plans. Already some Republicans think they may need a weeklong stop-gap bill to give more time for spending talks, according to one senior aide close to the talks. Government funding currently runs out on Dec. 7.