In order to avert a government shutdown, the Republicans have passed a temporary spending bill that will keep the government running until at least May 5th. The current spending bill expires on April 28th — Trump’s 100th day in office — and the temporary bill allows Trump and the Republicans a little more time to reach a consensus.
As it stands, the bill features a number of setbacks for the President. Most notably, it sidelines funding for his proposed border wall (but Mexico’s going to pay that anyway, right?) and maintains Obamacare subsidies that Trump promised to scrap.
After the debacle of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Trump is well-aware of the minefield that is the Congress. Move in one direction and he alienates establishment Republicans; move in the other and he loses support from the Freedom Caucus.
Trump’s reputation as a master deal-maker is already taking a hit, and a government shutdown — when his party controls both chambers of Congress — would be beyond embarrassing for him.
Also, let’s not forget that government shutdowns are ironically expensive. The 2013 shutdown under Obama cost around $2 billion. It’s in the best interest of everyone involved to keep the government solvent, and a shutdown wouldn’t just be terrible for Trump and Congress; it would be terrible for the entire country.
The White House and Congress now have a little over a week to pass a spending bill. Trump is holding strong on his plan to build a border wall, but the Democrats have vowed to oppose any bill that funds it. Meanwhile, some Republicans have called into question the financial viability of the wall and remain on the fence. (I’m so sorry.)
Trump has been scrambling to pad his resume before the 100-day mark, and the last thing he’ll want is a government shutdown on that very day. On the other hand, he won’t be able to follow through on his plans if he doesn’t receive the necessary funding.
These are trying times for the Trump administration and we’ll just have to wait to see whether it can pull something together. For now, here are the odds for the spending bill. Will it be passed, and if so, what will it contain?
Continued Obamacare subsidies: 1/19
Funding for Planned Parenthood: 3/17
Funding for a border wall: 9/1
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (flickr) [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0]
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