Sunday, November 3, 2019

Shutdown Countdown, Impeachment Edition

The government goes into shutdown mode on November 21 without a spending bill, but Nancy Pelosi believes that Trump will sign one in the next few weeks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said she doubts President Donald Trump would respond to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry by forcing a confrontation over funding that might trigger a government shutdown later this month.

“They don’t care about shutdowns because they don’t believe in government, however I do think that they learned a lesson from the last shutdown since it didn’t do them very well,” she said of the White House during a roundtable with Bloomberg reporters and editors.

The government is operating on a temporary funding measure that expires Nov. 21. As lawmakers haggle over a spending plan, congressional Democrats and the White House are at odds over the same issue -- Trump’s demand for border wall spending -- that was at the root of a 35-day government earlier this year. That ended with the Trump administration agreeing to a funding bill without the extra money he sought.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer this week said he was concerned that Trump would create a standoff over funding because of the House impeachment inquiry. “He always likes to create diversions,” Schumer said.

Pelosi said that she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are trying to come to an agreement on the full-year spending bills, including how to resolve the border wall spending.

“Let’s see what we can get accomplished,” she said.

Lawmakers from both parties involved in negotiating a spending plan have suggested passing a stopgap bill into January or February in order to move spending discussions past the House impeachment process, which is set to drag out into December

On the one hand, Trump has already lost this fight once and the GOP passed legislation without his wall funding. His people may tell him he'll lose the support he needs if he's closing national parks right before Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, Trump needs impeachment off the front pages and a convenient government shutdown he can blame on the "witch hunters" seems tailor-made for his brand of bullshittery. He may just go to the mat on this.

On the gripping hand, enough lawmakers may just say "screw it, I don't need this right now" and a veto-proof continuing resolution spending bill lands on Trump's desk and he's got no choice, taking the weapon out of his hands.

We'll see what happens soon.

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