President Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have beaten an ignominious retreat on funding for a border wall:
A Christmas government shutdown looks less likely now that the White House has backed off from President Trump’s demand of at least $5 billion for border wall funding in the homeland security appropriations bill.
McConnell’s view is, no shutdown, ever:
Asked how he convinced the president that a government shutdown wasn’t the correct way forward, McConnell said, “Well, he can speak for himself, but I think that a government shutdown is not a good option. That’s my view. The American people don’t like it. I don’t know how many times, you remember my favorite country saying, there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. We’ve been down this path before and I don’t believe we’ll go down this path again.”
The Republicans are in full retreat:
“We had a discussion about a proposal that we offered that I thought was reasonable to both sides to give us an opportunity to, in effect, thread the needle on the border security issue,” McConnell said. “I’ve heard back from Senator Schumer that the offer was not acceptable and so now I’m in consultation with the White House about the way forward and we’ll have more to say about that, hopefully a little bit later about what the president is willing to sign. I might say the administration is extremely flexible on this issue and we were obviously consulted before I sat down with Senator Schumer and Senator Leahy.”
The administration is “extremely flexible on this issue”? I don’t think that is what Trump’s voters want to hear. The obvious question is, given this surrender, what was the point of Trump’s reality TV appearance with Schumer and Pelosi, in which he proclaimed himself happy to take responsibility for a shutdown?
The Democrats are exultant:
Schumer characterized the extra non-wall billion sought by the White House as a “slush fund for the president to use for his radical immigration agenda.”
Enforcing federal law is a “radical agenda.” Whereas aiding and abetting violation of our laws by uncounted thousands and millions of illegal immigrants is, I guess, business as usual.