A week’s worth of shutdown drama topped off from a big compromise proposal from the President. This is the last week in review.
On Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the President to postpone his State of the Union address in light of security concerns during the shutdown. The speech is scheduled for January 29th, and the security detail is handled by the Department of Homeland Defense and the Secret Service. During the address, the entire Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President are all in the same room. As Pelosi notes, there is no constitutionally defined date for a State of the Union address, and while the President is required to address both chambers each year, it does not even have to be in person (Jefferson sent a letter to be read by a clerk on his behalf).
On Thursday, Trump clapped back. The President cancelled a trip scheduled by Pelosi and fellow House Democrats to Egypt, Afghanistan, and Belgium. Later, Trump declared that no members of Congress would be able to use Department of Defense resources to travel during the shutdown. Pelosi did reschedule the trip on commercial flights but claimed Trump sabotaged it by leaking details of the flight. The administration adamantly denied the claims.
Recently re-elected New York junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her plans to run for President, despite promising not to just months ago (though, maybe she just promised not to win). She spent her Saturday at the Women’s March in Des Moines, Iowa, despite some top Democrats distancing themselves from the event due to the anti-semitic ties to the organizers.
In a serious move to end the shutdown, or at least to make it seem like he’s trying, Trump made a public announcement Saturday to offer Democrats concessions in exchange for a border wall and a budget resolution to re-open the government. The deal would include a three-year extension for DACA, an extension for the Temporary Protected Status program (a refugee protection program), options to seek asylum within applicants’ home countries in Central America, and aid for affected countries.
It also includes 230 miles of border wall. Nancy Pelosi rejected the offer before the President even made it, saying the offer was a “non-starter.” If other Democrats follow suit, they put themselves at great political risk. The President’s plan addresses immigration, DACA, TPS, the opioid crisis, the humanitarian crises in Central America, and the human trafficking crisis on the border. That will pose some tough questions from constituents who value these issues to the Democrats who oppose it. However, Trump is also making a gamble with his base, with Ann Coulter tweeting “We voted for Trump and got Jeb!”
The deal is supported by McConnell and he will bring it to the floor of the Senate. It needs 60 votes to pass, though it should have the support of every Republican, with Romney (Utah) and Collins (Maine) both supporting the deal. If there is going to be a compromise, this is the deal. A more in-depth explanation of the deal will be available here or at Being Libertarian in the coming days.
You can read more from Ian Scar on Think Liberty here.