The looming government shutdown by the numbers

Hugh Fox
December 21, 2018

She said she generally supports funding for the border wall but said it depends on the language in specific pieces of legislation, adding: "The devil is always in the detail". Or will he find some way to claim he has "won" on the issue and fly south on schedule?

Fears of a shutdown, adding to other concerns, sent USA stocks tumbling, with the Dow shedding about two per cent.

In a 2013 shutdown, conservative Republicans made an unsuccessful effort to use funding bills to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare law. After initially indicating he would sign the bill if it passed the House of Representatives, Trump backtracked on Thursday and announced he would only sign a bill the funded the government if it provided funds to build a border wall in its entirety.

Outgoing Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee all voiced opposition to doing away with the filibuster in order to fund the border wall.

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Right now, Republicans still need at least 10 Democrats to sign off on a bill before it can be passed along to Trump's desk. He added that money must also be there for some type of barrier. The FDA could reduce its number of inspections, and given the number of recalled foods we've seen this year, that's a little worrisome.

President Donald Trump issued a stern warning on Twitter Thursday morning, notifying Congress that he will not accept a budget bill that does not fund the border wall, and signaling his intent to veto a continuing resolution created to put off an immigration battle until at least next February.

Whether that's enough for Trump's hard-core base is unclear. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, said he returned to the Lone Star state on Thursday only to get back on an early Friday morning flight to Washington. Trump, who last week said he would be "proud" to preside over a shutdown, sought to blame Senate Democrats, whose support is needed to reach the 60 votes needed for passage. The bill is expected to be rejected in the Senate, and does little to prevent a shutdown on Saturday. I mean, where is the evidence that you keep asserting they're for border security? Would be done by end of year (NOW). "It didn't happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries - but not for our beloved United States of America".

The president has "very serious concerns about border security", House Speaker Paul Ryan said as he emerged Thursday afternoon from a White House meeting with Trump.

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Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called the shutdown "100% avoidable", accusing Mr Trump of "choosing funding for his ineffective and wasteful border wall over what's best for our country".

That, though, was not long before Trump seemed to soften his demands at the farm bill signing.

Earlier in the day, the president publicly urged McConnell to deploy the so-called "nuclear option" to jam through the spending package, which refers to changing Senate precedent so legislation could be approved with a 51-vote majority, instead of the usual 60. Congressional Republicans scrambled to talk Trump out of that threat. The bill would have delivered amnesty to illegal aliens who entered the country while young, known as Dreamers, in exchange for $25 billion in wall funding. Though Congress can act to provide them backpay after the shutdown ends, it's not a guarantee.

At the White House, senators engaged in a lengthy back-and-forth with the president, but it did not appear to set a strategy for moving forward.

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