Democrats Have a Plan to End the Government Shutdown and Blame Trump

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He's signaled he's in no rush to give up on a signature campaign issue as he launches his own re-election bid in 2020.

Trump canceled his plans to go to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays to stay at the White House but he did not urge GOP leaders to keep Congress in session, which they have the power to do.

The government has been partially shut down since President Trump opted not to sign a stopgap funding bill that would have averted a shutdown altogether. "They say it's old technology - but so is the wheel". When asked how long he thought the shutdown would last, Trump told reporters, "Whatever it takes".

As always, Trump is inclined to believe that he's winning whenever he's dominating discourse with his opinions and behavior, however odd and reprehensible they may seem. A prolonged crisis could hobble House Democrats' ability to launch their agenda, which includes investigations of the president and oversight of his administration, including Russian interference in the election.

Along the same lines, White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway called discussion of the apparent contradiction "a silly semantic argument".

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Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill added that Democrats are united against the wall and won't seriously consider any White House offer unless Trump backs it publicly because he "has changed his position so many times".

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the House votes "would be probably an empty gesture". "It's not a question of who wins, who loses".

Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter - author of In Trump We Trust - recently predicted he will not be re-elected.

Pelosi, meanwhile, shows no signs of wavering, eager to both re-open government and to launch the Democratic agenda. It is unlikely the shutdown will be resolved until Democrats are sworn in on January 3.

- Democrats win: Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered options to Trump during a heated Oval Office meeting on December 11, including a six-bill spending package with a stopgap for Homeland Security and a full-year stopgap spending bill for all the closed federal departments. They would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30. He says he will reject any spending package that lacks it, but the Senate Republicans do not have the votes to deliver that legislation to him.

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Mnuchin attempted to brush those reports aside in a pair of tweets Saturday, quoting Trump as saying he "never suggested" firing Powell.

- Several White House officials suggested Sunday that the definition of Trump's border wall could be flexible, including broader security measures.

- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY, the incoming Democratic caucus chairman, said on ABC that Democrats will not help fund an "ineffective, Medieval border wall that is a 5th century solution to a 21st century problem".

One red-state Democrat, Montana Sen. "But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it", Kelly added.

Face it, Republicans. There is no nuance with Trump.

This is a Democratic proposal, and it is unclear if it will be taken up by the Senate, where Republicans will expand their majority come Thursday, or if President Trump will support it. Speaker-designate Pelosi has previously stated that the House would take up a bill to reopen government as a first order of business.

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Democrats have remained committed to blocking any funding for the wall, and with neither side engaging in substantive negotiation, the effect of the partial shutdown was set to spread and to extend into the new year.

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