Shutdown showdown

Did Trump give away his claim of a national emergency?

Featured image I’ve wondered whether by signing the bipartisan funding bill, President Trump weakens his case that we face a national emergency. I don’t know that he does, it just seemed like a possibility worth discussing. But today, Trump appeared truly to weaken his case. During a press event, Trump declared that he didn’t need to “do this” (i.e. declare the emergency), but he wanted to build the wall “much faster.” Isn’t »

The funding bill: how the Senate voted

Featured image The funding bill passed the Senate 83-16. Richard Burr of North Carolina did not vote. Of the 16 “no” votes, 11 were cast by Republicans. They are: Mike Braun (Ind.) Tom Cotton (Ark.) Ted Cruz (Tex.) Josh Hawley (Mo.) James M. Inhofe (Okla.) Mike Lee (Utah) Rand Paul (Ky.) Marco Rubio (Fla.) Ben Sasse (Neb.) Tim Scott (S.C.) Patrick Toomey (Pa.) Four of the five Democrats who voted no are »

Trump will declare emergency to fund wall

Featured image The bipartisan bill to fund the government is a disaster. As I explained here, per Mark Krikorian, it is unlikely to enable more than minimal wall building. In addition, it appears to prevent ICE from detaining or removing any illegal immigrant who has, in effect, any relationship with an “unaccompanied” minor. Among other evils, this will create an incentive for illegal immigrants already here to order up kids from Central »

Dems fill border “compromise” with landmines, GOP doesn’t notice (or doesn’t care)

Featured image Democrats have hoodwinked Republicans on the border compromise legislation that would end the dispute over funding the government. That’s the most charitable interpretation of what has happened. It’s possible that the Republicans who agreed to the deal know about the “landmines” that will undermine the Trump administration and simply don’t care. Mark Krikorian blows the whistle. He writes: The bill is disappointing in many respects, but if it had been »

Trump reacts to border deal

Featured image President Trump says he’s not happy about the border deal congressional leaders have reached. He shouldn’t be. However, Trump also predicts there will be no government shutdown and insists he will build a proper wall. He stated: Am I happy at first glance? The answer is no, I’m not, I’m not happy. It’s not going to do the trick, but I’m adding things to it and when you add whatever »

Trump considering moving funds around to build wall

Featured image In a post late last night about the tentative agreement between congressional Republicans and Democrats on border security, I discussed some of President Trump’s options if/when the deal becomes final. However, I omitted one option. Ed Morrissey notes that Trump might “redirect money from DHS to build more border barriers, which might not require an emergency declaration.” Nancy Cook and Eliana Johnson discuss this option in an article for Politico. »

Such a deal

Featured image Congressional leaders reportedly have reached a tentative deal on immigration/the border. The deal apparently would grant just $1.375 billion for 55 miles of fencing along the border. President Trump seeks $5.7 billion for more than 200 miles. In addition, the deal reportedly reduces an overall cap on detention beds maintained by ICE. Republican staffers are saying that ICE would have enough money and flexibility to maintain its current detention levels, »

Shutdown politics

Featured image Nancy Pelosi won the first round in the showdown over wall funding. She said “no.” She stuck to “no” during the ensuing lengthy shutdown. President Trump ended the shutdown without getting wall funding. Here in the Washington, D.C. area, everyone seems to believe Pelosi also won (and Trump lost) the battle for public opinion. But did she? Rich Lowry points to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll taken just before the »

Shutdown, We Hardly Noticed Ye

Featured image 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 »

Trump agrees to reopen government for three weeks

Featured image President Trump has announced a deal with congressional leaders to temporarily reopen the government while talks continue on his demand for border wall money. Under the deal, the government will be open for three weeks. The Democrats, who won this round with Trump, aren’t going to give him his wall funding during the upcoming negotiations. So what happens after three weeks? Trump says there might be another government shutdown or »

Jared Kushner, ace negotiator or nonentity?

Featured image Which is he, the Washington Post asks, in the context of evaluating his efforts to negotiate a settlement of the partial government shutdown. The answer, surely, is: neither. The case for Kushner as ace negotiator seems to rest on his success in helping to push leniency for felons legislation through Congress. As one who was on the other side in the fight, I concede that Kushner’s work was impressive. But »

Dems Block Move to Pay Federal Workers

Featured image Earlier today, House Republicans offered a bill to pay federal workers during the (very) partial “shutdown” that is now going on. Democrats voted it down. So much for their crocodile tears over the plight of the small minority of government workers who have been furloughed. Guy Benson comments: Why did House Dems kill a GOP effort to pay federal workers during the partial shutdown? An aide called it a 'stunt' »

Trump takes “no” for an answer

Featured image Earlier today, John discussed President Trump’s proposed compromise to end the partial government shutdown. As he notes, the Democrats rejected it out of hand. Trump must have expected them to. The three years of relief for the DACA population falls far short of the Democrats’ goal. If the Dems are ever going to fund Trump’s wall, it will require far more substantial concessions than those Trump made today. In pushing »

The President’s Immigration Olive Branch

Featured image In a 15 minute speech this afternoon, President Trump once again described the crisis at the Southern border and offered a compromise proposal to the Democrats. It wouldn’t resolve immigration issues, he said, but it would address the immediate crisis at the border and allow the government to reopen. It was an excellent speech, and well delivered. It was, I think, Trump at his best–the Democrats can only hope that »

Trump’s letter to Pelosi [UPDATED]

Featured image Steve has posted President Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi advising her that that a congressional delegation trip she intended to take to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan is now “postponed.” The letter is a masterpiece. It’s vastly preferable to a tweet blasting Pelosi and calling her names, which is how I expected Trump to respond to Pelosi’s talk about postponing the State of the Union Address. It’s appalling that Pelosi didn’t »

Kushner and Graham are on the case, what could go wrong?

Featured image CNN reports that “Republican senators are privately planning to court Democratic senators on an immigration deal that would give President Donald Trump money for his border wall and include several measures long-sought by Democrats.” This sentence is misleading. Lindsey Graham, who is leading this effort, has himself long sought the amnesty-style measures he’s so generously prepared to offer Democrats. Says CNN: After Trump stormed out of a White House meeting »

Trump’s powerful address

Featured image John and I don’t always agree about President Trump, but I agree with his assessment of Trump’s address tonight on immigration/the partial government shutdown. Trump laid out a common sense case for the need to fund border security and build more wall (or whatever one prefers to call it). I’m pretty sure most Americans agree with the substance of what Trump said. I also believe that Americans overwhelmingly agree that, »