With the deadline approaching and President Trump insisting that he will not sign a spending bill without $5 billion in funding for a border wall, it appears more likely that the federal government will face a partial shutdown. Funding for certain key agencies is set to expire at midnight.

On December 11, Trump publicly stated that he would be “proud to shut down the government” in order to try to put pressure on Congress to force U.S. taxpayers to pay for his big, beautiful wall at the border. “I will take the mantle,” he said. “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.” Here, you can watch:


The Senate passed a stopgap measure, which did not include funding for the wall, that would keep the government open through February 8. The White House signaled that it would sign the bill, but various right-wing media personalities gave Trump a hard time. Wounded, he reversed course, announcing to House Republicans yesterday that he would not sign a bill that didn’t have funding for the wall. He said that the wall funding could be designated for “steel slats,” a rhetorical flourish that did not appear to change many minds. The House, still in GOP control, passed a bill with Trump’s requested wall money, but the bill is DOA in the Senate.

So it appears that Trump will get his shutdown. But although just ten days ago, he said that he would “take the mantle” and “be proud to shut down the government,” Trump is now trying to pass the buck.



If he doesn’t get his way and the Senate doesn’t approve his wall funding, Trump threatened, “there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time.”


If the shutdown comes to pass, it would impact around 25 percent of the federal agencies that depend on Congress for funding (the other 75 percent has already passed). Politico has a breakdown on some of the hassles and problems that would follow if Trump makes good on his threat: “Even a partial government shutdown would be painful for taxpayers and federal workers. … funding is in peril for the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Justice, Commerce, State, Agriculture, Interior, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, plus agencies like the EPA, FDA and IRS. Cutting off the federal cash flow would freeze many essential services and progress on long-term projects.”

Trump also suggested that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should use the “Nuclear Option” and eliminate the filibuster in order to secure the $5 billion for Trump’s vanity project.

The Wall, Trump explained, is like the Wheel:

Senate Republicans are exasperated with the fickle Trump, Democrats are not going to vote for Trump’s $5 billion steel slats, and there’s no sign of a break in the impasse at the moment. Trump will say any old thing and it’s all meaningless, so who knows, maybe a deal will emerge. But the president increasingly sounds like Gollum hankering for the Ring, slimy and desperate, ready to shut down the government to get his precious.