This afternoon, President Trump announced a deal to fund the portion of the federal government that has been “shut down” for the next three weeks, with no provision for border security. Many conservatives are howling, but I am not sure this temporary resolution of the shutdown is a big deal–just as I didn’t think the shutdown was a big deal in the first place. Speaking for myself, I never noticed it. This year’s “shutdown” was even purer political theater than most.
Trump says he intends to negotiate with the Democrats over border security for the next three weeks; the Democrats say they will negotiate in good faith. Which is ridiculous, of course.
At the White House today, Trump strongly suggested that if the Democrats don’t agree to wall funding during the next three weeks, he will declare an emergency and start building the wall with funds he can easily find within the military budget and other areas of the executive branch. That presumably will lead to litigation.
Ultimately, I agree with Collin Peterson, Minnesota’s 7th District Congressman who is perhaps the most conservative Democrat left in Congress. Peterson urged his fellow Democrats to give Trump the $5.7 billion he was asking for, and added: “Why are we fighting over this? We’re going to build that wall anyway, at some time.” I think that is right. Regardless of whether you think today’s agreement represents a setback, the wall is going to be built. Unfortunately, a lot of illegal immigrants, including gang members and perhaps terrorists, are going to enter the country in the meantime.