Members of Congress on Sunday agreed: It would be irresponsible of President Donald Trump and Republicans to precipitate a government shutdown by refusing to back down on demands for funding for Trump’s proposed border wall.
Top White House aides signaled uncertainty on Sunday as to whether Trump would sign a must-pass spending bill that did not include funding for his proposed border wall. If Congress does not pass the bill, the federal government will shut down at midnight on April 28 as the calendar flips to Trump’s 100th day in office.
“I would suspect he’ll do the right thing for sure, but I would suspect he will be insistent on the funding,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Saturday.
“I’m pretty confident we’re going to get something that’s satisfactory to the President,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday was more equivocal.
“We don’t know yet,” he said.
“The Democrats do not support the wall, and I think that the Republicans on the border states do not support the wall,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
She called Trump’s proposed wall “immoral, expensive, unwise.”
“When the President says, ‘Well, I promised a wall during my campaign,’ I don’t think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall onto the taxpayer,” Pelosi said.
She said Republicans are responsible for coming up with a spending bill that can pass Congress and avert a government shutdown.
“The Republicans have the votes in the House and the Senate and the White House to keep government open,” Pelosi said. “The burden to keep it open is on the Republicans.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on CNN’s “State of the Union” called Trump’s push to include funding for the proposed wall in the spending bill a “political stunt, an obsession for the President that should not shut down the government.”
“We told the President and the Republicans weeks ago, don’t try any political stunts, don’t put any poison pills into this process,” he said on Sunday. “Let’s just do our responsible, important work of funding this government.”
Durbin said it “would be the height of irresponsibility” for Trump to “consider shutting down the government of the United States of America over this outlandish proposal.”
“I hope the President will back off,” Durbin said. “He would not want that to define his first 100 days.”
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) on “State of the Union” said Sunday it would not be worth shutting the government down over funding for Trump’s budget wall.
“I think there are still questions about, wait a minute, this is a guy that said the Mexicans were going to pay for it,” Sanford said.
“Do you think that wall is worth shutting the government down over?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked.
“No,” Sanford said. “And I don’t think there will be a government shutdown.”