Senate leaders will meet for a pro forma session on Monday but will not reconvene again for a scheduled session until Thursday, December 27. That means the partial federal government shutdown will continue through the holidays.
At the heart of the shutdown is President Trump’s insistence that U.S. taxpayers give him $5 billion to start construction on a border wall that will ultimately cost at least $21 billion.
Democrats have pushed back against the wall on the basis that it won’t accomplish what the President believes it will accomplish and the realization that a majority of Americans in numerous polls have said they don’t want the wall and definitely don’t want to pay for it with taxpayer money.
For Republicans, the reason for denying the wall seems to be based around confusion and it’s Trump’s fault.
Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma told NBC News:
“To me it doesn’t matter what we want, let’s have a design that works. The president put out a tweet of a picture with spikes on top of fencing, that’s not even in the conversation. That’s not even in one of the designs the border patrol has proposed.”
Here is Donald Trump’s tweet that drew a lot of confusion from lawmakers:
Even when asked directly about the type of wall the President is seeking and whether it needs to be made of concrete, White House officials are only willing to say the President wants a “physical barrier.”
For now, President Trump is demanding the wall without a full plan in place. It may very well be that Trump is worried about his waning support among Fox News personalities. This past week, Ann Coulter said the President will “very likely not finish out his term” if his promise to start building the wall fails to become a reality.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.