Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed worries on Tuesday that President Donald Trump may try to purposely shut down the government in order to try and shift public opinion on an impeachment inquiry looking into his behavior while in office.
“I’m increasingly worried that President Trump will want to shut down the government again because of impeachment,” Schumer said, according to a report from Politico. “He always likes to create diversions. I hope and pray he won’t want to cause another government shutdown because it might be a diversion away from impeachment.”
Republicans have tried to assure lawmakers in Congress that a shutdown won’t happen, but those same promises were made amid the last government shutdown, which lasted from late December and well into the new year, for a record-long 35 days.
Funding for the government is set to expire on November 21 of this year. While that’s still several weeks away, concerns over what will happen up to that point are warranted, as bills to address funding of the government have, at least in the recent past, only come up within days (or hours, even) of the funding deadline.
Chuck Schumer: I’m ‘Increasingly Worried’ Trump May Shut Down Gov’t Again Because of Impeachment https://t.co/ADVoaDtIyI
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) October 29, 2019
Some believe Trump could use a shutdown as a means to put focus back on a different set of issues, and away from a Democratic Party-led impeachment inquiry investigating his alleged attempts to get a foreign power to investigate his political rivals. Several lawmakers, including Democratic Party Whip for the Senate Dick Durbin, recall how he used the last shutdown in an attempt to get funding for a wall on the U.S. southern border.
“He used it for his almighty wall for the longest shutdown in history, so I don’t put anything past him when it comes to this,” Durbin said, per a report from NBC News.
Those close to Trump wouldn’t “put it past him” either. According to a former administration official, Trump “could use a spending showdown to put the focus back on the issues” that matter to him, including “border security” and “wasteful spending.”