Team Orange thinks they have a plan to end the shutdown, and by plan I mean they want to blame Nancy Pelosi for a bill they can't get Mitch McConnell to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate.
The White House has a new, long-shot idea for getting President Donald Trump’s border wall: persuading the Senate to take up the president’s wall request to force a deal with the Democrats, then reopen the government.
As the government shutdown enters its fifth week, the White House wants the Senate to take up legislation that would provide $5.7 billion for a barrier along the southern border, among other options that have been discussed with GOP leaders. Vice President Mike Pence and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and one option batted around was for congressional committees to take up the border request and potentially amend it in committee, all while the government is shutdown, according to a person familiar with the talks.
But even Republicans on the Hill recognize the idea is a nonstarter. About 10 of them have been urging the White House to accept their proposal to open up the government for three weeks and allow a quick immigration and border debate, because Democrats are resisting any negotiations until government is reopened.
“If there’s not a short-term shutdown [solution] to give us the space to negotiate, the Democrats won’t negotiate,” said a GOP senator in contact with the White House. “We all know the Democrats are unwilling to talk at this point.”
The administration, the senator added, is not fully factoring in that the Senate’s 60-vote threshold will require Democratic support.
“Every time I talk to them. That’s the assumption, that they believe we can just do it,” the senator said.
The discussion among Pence, Kushner and the majority leader centered around the GOP-controlled Senate taking the lead on legislation, given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is unwilling to take up new border security funding until the government reopens. The White House, however, has opposed a short-term spending bill to do that.
And Democrats are refusing to entertain the White House’s ideas until the funding lapse ends.
In colorful terms, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) summed up the party’s stance toward Trump: “If a kid that is screaming for an ice cream, you can't give him an ice cream cone. Because if you give in, he’ll never eat his vegetables again.”
I freely admit I figured that Chuck Schumer would have folded by now. Thankfully, Nancy Pelosi is running the show, and she's made of sterner stuff. Team Trump really figures that Mitch can pass a wall bill, only he can't. In no universe does Mitch have the 60 votes.
Trump supposedly will be making an announcement Saturday afternoon about the border, so we'll see if he finally makes that emergency declaration and burns every last bridge he has. Odds are he's going to present this plan and everyone will ignore it as they should.
And on this disaster goes.