Back to McConnell


As a number of people have noted, it’s not at all clear to me how President Trump can agree to this new bipartisan DHS border funding compromise without a humiliating climbdown. Democrats insisted that the limited funding for reinforcing the southern border can only be in the form of more of the fences that were approved and built before Trump’s presidency. That means we’re back to Mitch McConnell who is really the key person in this situation.

McConnell’s rule for the last two years has been a sort of updated version of the old Hastert Rule: Don’t let any bill come to the floor of the Senate unless McConnell is sure President Trump will sign it. Even if Congress does pass a bill, Trump can veto it, of course. But I’m skeptical Trump has the backbone to do that.

So where does this leave us? Given what we know of Trump, the most likely move is to agree to the deal, write it off as meaningless and then declare some state of emergency which will then get bogged down in the courts. All he’s been willing to say so far is “we’ll see what happens.”

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