Trump is again threatening to take the country hostage to get funding for his border wall, and he doesn't care who gets hurt.
Trump has reiterated his call for a complete government shutdown, ignoring Republican leaders in Congress who understand the idea — especially right before an election — will hurt their own party.
"I don’t care what the political ramifications are," Trump tweeted in a midday tantrum. He said "there is no way that the Democrats will allow it to be fixed without a Government Shutdown" and insisted "A Government Shutdown is a very small price to pay for a safe and Prosperous America!"
This isn't something Republicans want. They know they are likely to be blamed for a shutdown — they control the White House and both chambers of Congress, after all — and they don't want to have to defend it in the middle of the midterm elections. Republicans are facing enough headwinds as it is thanks to their support of Trump and his unpopular presidency.
"We know it's important to him," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in response. "We're going to try to achieve that." However, McConnell has repeatedly insisted over the last few weeks that a shutdown is "not going to happen."
McConnell said that he is directing the Senate to pass bills funding the government starting with the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1. He said the legislature would be "funding the government in a timely and orderly manner."
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with McConnell, recently laid out proposals to Trump that would avoid a government shutdown.
Trump's ill-tempered tweets show him bucking the other leaders in his party out of frustration.
In recent weeks, Trump has apparently gone all-in on the Republican hail Mary strategy of using racist, anti-immigrant language in a desperate attempt to hold on to their majorities in the House and Senate.
Trump has been pushing the idea that "illegal immigration is a top national security problem," and smearing Democrats for "thinking that Open Borders, large scale Crime, and abolishing ICE is good for them." His description of Democrats is false, but Trump is a serial liar.
A government shutdown is not good for America. It has major ripple effects throughout the economy as it disrupts the vast array of businesses that rely on the federal government, while also leaving thousands of federal workers out to dry.
It also cuts off Americans from parks and museums that rely on the federal government to stay open.
Republicans like McConnell and Ryan know that to support a shutdown blows back on them in a terrible way. But Trump is so consumed with his belief that immigration fearmongering is the only path to keeping his party in power that he is willing to buck his fellow leaders.
Trump is driving his party off of a political cliff and is clearly upset that, on this issue at least, they don't want to help him do it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.