As the Senate wrestles with the prospect of a government shutdown, President Trump took to Twitter Friday to cast blame the Democrats and use the latest budget impasse to promote GOP candidates in this year’s elections.
Noting that the House passed a temporary funding bill Thursday night, Trump said that “now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate – but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming?”
He added, alluding to the coming elections, “we need more Republican victories in 2018!”
Democrats and some Senate Republicans object to the House-approved spending plan for a variety of reasons.
Many Democrats want it to included authorization of a program designed to block deportation of people who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Trump has vowed to end the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unless Congress comes up with a legislative fix.
Others note that the House spending bill funds the government only up to Feb. 16, and that Congress will simply re-litigate these issues again next month unless they are dealt with now.
Republicans control both the Senate and the House, but Democrats are hopeful of capturing majorities after the November elections. Trump’s latest attack on the Democrats came a day after he visited a congressional district in Pennsylvania that is holding a special House election in March.
If the Senate is unable to pass a spending plan – opponents may have the numbers to filibuster it – parts of the government will shut down at midnight. A shutdown would not affect the military or other essential services.
The shutdown could also affect Trump’s schedule.
He is scheduled to leave Washington late Friday afternoon for another weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., one that would include a special fundraising dinner that would mark his one-year anniversary in office on Saturday.