Speaker of the House Paul Ryan responded emphatically to the threat given by President Donald Trump to shut down the government and force Congress to approve funding for a wall on our southern border.
“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” Ryan said at a news conference in Oregon where he was promoting tax reform.
Ryan commented that the House already passed funding for border security, but the Senate is different. It is narrowly divided, and Democrats have more influence over what gets funded so that more time would be necessary.
“The fact is though, given the time of year it is and the rest of the appropriations we have to do, we are going to need more time to complete appropriations process particularly in the Senate,” Ryan said.
Ryan gave this answer to keep the government open past September, a short-term government funding bill known as a continuing resolution.
Ryan’s response came after President Trump fed a hungry crowd at a Phoenix rally this promise as he insisted on a border wall: “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump said.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, also warned President Trump against pursuing a government shutdown, “If the President pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of the American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.
Some are indicating that because of the politically polarized environment in D.C., it is highly uncertain if a government shutdown can be avoided. Speaker Ryan was also asked about President Trump’s intense criticism of GOP Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
“I would just say that I think it’s important that we all stay unified as Republicans to complete our agenda,” Ryan said. “Those two gentlemen are people I respect, know, like and are friends with — and we disagree on certain issues. I can think of a couple with those gentlemen, but nevertheless, we have a very good working relationship. I think it’s important we stay unified, but I think the President is employing a strategy he thinks is effective for him.”
With Trump coming down as hard on some Republicans as he does on Democrats, do you think a government shutdown is likely?