After a week of flip-flops on everything from the value of NATO to labeling China a currency manipulator, moves which quickly earned him the moniker of 'flipper-in-chief' from a disgruntled base, Trump, under internal pressure to show legislative achievements ahead of the 100-day mark, is gearing up for a government shutdown fight to secure money for a border wall, more immigration enforcement officers and a bigger military.
Once Congress returns to work from their Easter break they'll have just 5 days to unveil, debate and pass a spending bill, or trigger a government shutdown on April 28 which would come right before the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency. That said, officials could also strike a one-week compromise, giving them more time for a broader agreement.
People familiar with the negotiations say Mick Mulvaney, the budget
director, and Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, are pushing congressional appropriators to include "billions" for their agenda in private conversations. The White House, one person familiar with the conversations said, has pushed for $3 billion for the border wall, and discussions have been ongoing.
"The CR is our biggest focus right now," one senior administration official said, referring to the continuing resolution on spending.
Of course, in order to get a budget passed, the Trump administration will likely require some Democratic support in the House and certainly in the Senate. That said, Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi insist that any budgets that include funding for Trump's 'beautiful' border wall is a non-starter. Per Politico:
Securing the $1.4 billion down payment would help Trump fulfill a top campaign promise but it’s facing stiff Democratic resistance. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said adding wall funding would be “a loser” — finding few Democratic votes while even losing some Republicans.
"The only thing that could derail that progress is the White House insisting on their extraneous demands, which would meet bipartisan opposition,” said Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned Thursday that including funding for the border wall will almost certainly cause a loss of Democratic support. “I would hope that they wouldn’t try that,” she said, adding, “the American people don’t even support it.”
But, the border wall and additional funding for immigration enforcement aren't the only issues that could force a government shutdown. As Politico notes, disputes over withholding funding to so-called 'Sanctuary Cities', and/or the defunding of Obamacare subsidies or Coal miners' health benefits could also end in a stalemate.