President Trump is once again attempting to throw a wrench in a barely functioning federal government to push his anti-immigrant agenda. Waving the veto pen, he is threatening a government shutdown unless he gets funding for his wall.
Since the beginning of the year, the potential of a shutdown has loomed with nearly each federal spending deadline, prompting showdowns among the president, the House, and Senate. The government is funded through the end of September, and lawmakers will have to pass a continuing resolution — which Trump could possibly veto — to keep the lights on.
As Trump tweeted Sunday:
I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
According to the New York Times, Republican leaders had apparently reached a deal to delay butting heads on wall funding until after the November midterms, but Trump appears to have prematurely pulled the trigger.
Trump continues to beat his drum to try to get immigration reform legislation on the legislative floor, but in the worst way possible. He continues to press for his so-called four pillars, which include: a lengthy and winding path to citizenship for undocumented Dreamers; an end to the diversity visa lottery; cuts in legal immigration; and, of course, a border wall.
Both chambers squarely rejected bills that adhered to these “pillars.” As New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s spokesperson told the Times, “the bill he’s describing only got 39 votes in the Senate floor.”
Since the last shutdown threat, family separation has boomed into a full-fledged crisis that threatens the safety of our immigrant families. Attempts from hardline lawmakers to align with Trump’s pillars will only make matters worse by stalling legislative immigration reform. Actual compromise must be made to give legislation a fighting chance through both chambers and to stand the test of Trump’s pen.