Trump threatens government shutdown with last-minute tantrum


Trump is obsessed with shutting down the government.

Trump told congressional Republicans that he will not sign a short-term bill to keep the government funded, throwing yet another tantrum because Democrats refuse to pay $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Coming out of a meeting with Trump at the White House, outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and soon-to-be Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters that Trump will not sign the clean continuing resolution passed by the Senate this week, which would fund the government through early February 2019.

The Senate passed the bill by unanimous voice vote, but Ryan, a Trump toady until the very end, indicated that he will not even bring the bill up for a vote in the House of Representatives. Funding for much of the government runs out at midnight on Dec. 21.

Parroting Trump, Ryan said he "has very serious concerns about securing our border."

In a humiliating White House meeting, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer told Trump to his face that Democrats would not support a waste of $5 billion for a border wall. At the time, Trump bragged that he would be proud to shut down the government if he did not get his way.

In a rare instance of keeping his word, Trump's tantrum over the Senate spending bill could very well lead to a Trump shutdown mere days before Christmas.

"Republicans are in a state of disarray," Pelosi told reporters in the morning, amid news of Ryan and Republicans desperately trying to figure out how to do their job of keeping the government funded.

Several Republicans expressed frustration in explicit terms to reporters amidst the GOP-led chaos.

An NBC News reporter said some Republicans want Trump to tweet his support before they are willing to vote on a funding bill. "That's what the fuck serving in Congress has come to," one member said.

Another Republican member placed the blame on the far-right House Freedom Caucus (HFC), telling a Bloomberg reporter, "I think they thought the president would fall in line, so they were thinking like senators, and not factoring in the thirsty desire of HFC to fuck things up." Freedom Caucus members have said they will fight on Trump's side for wall funding.

Until January 3, Republicans are in control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, leaving no doubt who is responsible for a shutdown, should one occur. Recent polling shows Americans understand the dynamic, with a large majority prepared to lay blame at the feet of Trump and the Republicans.

During his campaign, Trump repeated ad nauseam that Mexico would pay for the wall. Barely two years later, he is melting down because Democrats refuse to allow U.S. taxpayer funds to be used for the wall.

And through it all, Ryan is showing the incompetence as the leader of the House. He is unable to corral his caucus and too spineless to stand up to Trump's latest tantrum.

The chaos and tumult on Capitol Hill, like the looming shutdown, is owned fully by the Republican party.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.