Government shutdown less likely after bipartisan deal, but it could still happen

Matt Saintsing
February 07, 2018 - 2:52 pm
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Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA

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A day after President Donald Trump called for a government shutdown, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared, once again, that a shutdown “would be very damaging to the military.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House Wednesday, Mattis said, “It just paralyzes everything that we do if we go into that.”

“Bottom line is training’s delayed.”

Mattis’ comments come just one day after a frustrated Trump said tougher border security and deportation policies were needed.

“If we don’t change it, let’s have a shutdown,” the president said. “We’ll do a shutdown, and it’s worth it for our country. I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.”

A shutdown occured last month, he said, because Democrats had refused to support a bill that would keep the government afloat, but that didn’t include protection for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. He claimed, at that time, that Democrats had done damage to the military by refusing to keep the government open over the issue.

A deal is struck, maybe

Congressional leaders unveiled a new massive sweeping budget deal that would add $400 billion in federal spending over the next two years. The deal represents a rare compromise as Mr. Trump is able to deliver the boost in military spending he demanded, and Democrats got the increase in domestic programs they sought.

"This bill is the product of extensive negotiations among congressional leaders and the White House. No one thinks this bill is perfect. But we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, when he announced the agreement.

"The budget deal doesn’t have everything Democrats want. It doesn’t have everything the Republicans want. But, it has a great deal of what the American people want," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the Senate floor.

"After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough."

The Senate is expected to vote on the bipartisan compromise as early as Wednesday, and while the bill is expected to pass there, the House is another story. Some House Democrats, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), won’t agree to raise the budget caps until they receive assurance that DACA recipients will be protected.

Currently, there’s no sign that will happen.

Just before the announcement was made in the Senate, Pelosi announced she was opposed to it.

"This morning, we took a measure of our Caucus because the package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers in the House," Pelosi said in a statement.

"Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support."