Trump’s Chief of Staff Says Another Government Shutdown Might Be Unavoidable

Congress has until Friday to reach a deal.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

In late January, Congress put an end to the longest government shutdown in history with a three-week spending bill and a promise to return to bipartisan talks for a long-term deal. But on Sunday, Trump officials and Republican leaders were uncertain that another shutdown could be avoided.

“You cannot take a shutdown off the table and you cannot take $5.7 billion [for the wall] off the table,” White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday morning on Meet the Press. Congress has until Friday to reach a deal and prevent a second shutdown. 

The 35-day shutdown that began last December as a result of Trump’s insistence on funding for a wall along the Mexican border wreaked havoc on the economy and the day-to-day stability of the 800,000 furloughed and working without pay federal employees. 

On another Sunday show, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chair of the Appropriations Committee, said there was a “50/50” chance that Congress would be able to make a deal. According to Politico, negotiations hit an impasse when Democrats asked for a cap on the number of beds for immigrant detainees. 

A pair of tweets from the president also seemed to imply that talks about border wall funding were not going smoothly.

Polling shows that most Americans blame Trump and the Republicans for the impasse and have little appetite for a second shutdown. The president has also floated the idea of declaring a national emergency in order to circumvent Congress and secure funding for a wall. Polls show that Americans don’t like that idea either.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate