Democrats are said to be confident that they will win the shutdown over border security — that President Donald Trump will cave to their demands and sign a spending bill to re-open all federal government departments without receiving any funding for his border wall.
Politico reported Thursday evening that Democrats “are plotting ways to reopen the government while denying the president even a penny more for his border wall when they take power Jan. 3.”
They are basing that conclusion on the past behavior of Republican leaders when facing a swamp of negative media coverage about national monuments closed, paychecks delayed, and office doors shut. While Trump and the GOP leadership are putting on a brave face, the Democrats plan simply to pass a”continuing resolution” bill to re-open the government once they take control of the House, and pass it along to the Senate, daring Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — long opposed to shutdowns — to refuse. “[T]hey’re confident that their political leverage will only increase the longer the shutdown lasts — a notion that some GOP leaders agree with privately,” Politico adds.
In 2015, McConnell rejected the idea of shutting down the government unless Democrats cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, opining: ““There’s no education in the second kick of the mule … We’ve been down this path before.”
However, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-TX), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, told CNN Thursday that Democrats who expected Trump to fold as previous Republican leaders had were “misreading” the president. Trump’s border wall was a cornerstone of his election campaign in 2016, meaning that he may not be able to give up on the idea without alienating his voter base. As such, he may be “prepared for a very long shutdown,” as he said last week.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.