President Trump did not blink and it may have gotten him the border wall.
Ahead of a major vote where the House voted in favor of $5.7 billion for border wall funding, everything seemed uncertain.
President Trump demanded Congress include $5 billion for the construction of a new border wall in a government funding bill which needs to pass today before 11:59:59 pm EST to avoid a government shutdown. So, the pressure has been on Congress and President Trump to reach a deal before the week’s end.
But, negotiating members could not have disagreed more.
The Senate had passed a continuing resolution without the border funding and were so sure their House counterparts would adhere to their decision, they reportedly left town.
Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said he and other senators at the sparsely attended GOP lunch found out Trump wouldn’t sign the bill when someone read aloud a tweet with the news. He said that after the tweet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to speak to Ryan about it.
Johnson plans to fly home later Thursday.
He said so many senators had departed the Capitol looked like a “ghost town.” In addition, he said there are concerns that so many of the retiring and defeated Republican House members had not returned to DC, for these final votes of the session, that there were doubts about House leaders could pass anything that didn’t have Democratic support. Roughly 40 members of Congress from both chambers and parties have missed votes in this latest series of votes, adding another complication to the last-ditch scramble.
President Trump wanted the $5 billion, the Senate said no, so Trump called an audible in the form of an emergency meeting.
Trump met with House lawmakers and told them he would not sign into law a continuing resolution, the Washington Examiner reports.
President Trump “does not want to go further” with a government spending bill that does not include money for his wall or steel slats, the White House said Thursday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump is planning to meet with Republican members of the House at noon as they debate a stopgap spending measure passed by the Senate late Wednesday.
The measure funds several government agencies at their current levels until Feb. 8, but it does not include Trump’s request for $5 billion for his wall across the U.S.-Mexico border.
So what came of the meeting?
Exactly what Trump wanted in the form of a whopping $5.7 billion in border wall funding from the House.
“What the Senate will or won’t do, we can hang ourselves up on that here in the House,” Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry told CNN, as Politico reports. “We know from that meeting today with the President that he is going to veto the bill if we passed it.”
“We don’t want to be in the position of a Republican House taking a bill to the President that he’s going to veto, especially on something as important as his number one priority: the wall,” McHenry continued. “So it’s a tough call but we’re going to do what the President has asked. And then we’ll see if the Senate can follow up.”
Now, Trump is demanding the Senate take up the same bill.
“Senator Mitch McConnell should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything,” Trump tweeted. “He will need Democrat votes, but as shown in the House, good things happen. If enough Dems don’t vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown! House Republicans were great yesterday!”
Trump then claimed a border wall is such a simple, yet successful technology; “It’s like the wheel, there is nothing better.”
“The Democrats are trying to belittle the concept of a Wall, calling it old fashioned. The fact is there is nothing else’s that will work, and that has been true for thousands of years,” Trump continued. “It’s like the wheel, there is nothing better. I know tech better than anyone, & technology on a Border is only effective in conjunction with a Wall.”
He added: “Properly designed and built Walls work, and the Democrats are lying when they say they don’t. In Israel the Wall is 99.9% successful. Will not be any different on our Southern Border! Hundreds of $Billions saved!”
The president said House Republicans should be “very proud of themselves” for supporting the wall amid the Senate’s uncertainty.
“No matter what happens today in the Senate, Republican House Members should be very proud of themselves,” Trump contended. “They flew back to Washington from all parts of the World in order to vote for Border Security and the Wall. Not one Democrat voted yes, and we won big. I am very proud of you!”
Trump then said the pressure was entirely on the Senate, promising to keep the government closed until they passed the House version of the government funding bill.
He said: “The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!”
“Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!” Trump even added on Twitter.
“Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!” Trump added.
And, in a final tweet, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”