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Shutdown Showdown Is a Barrier to the Wall

By leaving a meeting that was "a total waste of time," Trump set down negotiation markers.

Nate Jackson · Jan. 10, 2019

On Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump met once again with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to hammer out a compromise on the humanitarian and security crisis on our border. A stalemate over funding for a border barrier yielded a partial government shutdown almost three weeks ago. As we expected, however, Democrat leaders refused to negotiate again Wednesday and Trump walked out, declaring the meeting “a total waste of time.” He explained that he wanted to know whether reopening the government now as Democrats want would lead to good-faith negotiations and money for a border barrier later. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

Schumer promptly accused him of a “temper tantrum,” with Pelosi chiming in that he’s a “petulant president.”

On the contrary, Vice President Mike Pence argued, “He left the room today because Speaker Pelosi said that even if he gave her what she wanted, she would never agree to the border-security priorities that we have on the table.” Trump wants $5.7 billion. House Democrat legislation countered with $0.

Trump also reiterated Wednesday, “I have the absolute right to [declare a] national emergency” to build more of the wall. “My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.” Chuck and Nancy, as he likes to call them, are the definition of unreasonable. Moreover, they are so intractably opposed to anything Trump wants these days that it has — surprise! — a few Republicans in Congress already caving.

After the meeting, Pelosi made emotional appeals about the government workers either furloughed or working without pay. The president “thinks maybe they can just ask their father for more money,” she asserted. “But, they can’t.” It’s true that the situation isn’t easy for government workers and their families. But Trump has declared that all furloughed government workers will receive back pay.

And Pelosi can spare us the crocodile tears and Schumer the feigned outrage. To Democrats, this isn’t about furloughed workers or fiscal management, and they certainly care little for the plight of Americans suffering the myriad consequences of illegal immigration. Democrats’ barrier to the wall is about votes and winning elections, plain and simple.

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