The impending federal government shutdown is happening for one reason, Chuck Schumer says: Donald Trump’s tantrum.
The president abruptly changed course on Thursday, going back against initial signals to sign a measure keeping the government funded for the next three months, and instead deciding that he would veto the measure, setting the stage for a shutdown. Trump had said he would not sign any measure that lacked the funding he requested for a border wall, but Democrats said this was a nonstarter, and even many Republicans did not back the measure.
After Trump’s shocking reversal, the Senate Minority Leader placed the blame solely on the president. As The Week noted, Schumer appeared with Nancy Pelosi on Thursday and said the votes would still not be there to support Trump’s border wall and that Trump was engineering a crisis for no reason.
“The Trump temper tantrum will shut down the government but it will not get him his wall,” Schumer said, adding that Trump is “plunging the country into chaos.”
Critics have claimed that Donald Trump only reversed course on the border wall funding after he was uncharacteristically attacked across Fox News for appearing to back off a key campaign promise. The criticism was especially sharp on Fox & Friends, Trump’s favorite program, and one that he tweets about frequently.
President Trump is plunging us into chaos.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 21, 2018
The stock market is down 500 points. Secretary Mattis is leaving. We know he had serious disagreements with President Trump over Syria and the wall.
And now, another temper tantrum and a Trump shutdown over Christmas is nearly upon us. pic.twitter.com/6rCQmEjSKd
Dem leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer face the media ahead of a possible government shutdown. Pointing to the stock markets, they're accusing Trump of "plunging the country into chaos." pic.twitter.com/IvJVbJdSz4— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) December 20, 2018
CNN analyst Chris Cillizza said that Trump is more responsive to Fox News than any political allies, knowing that the network speaks most directly to his base.
“If you think that criticism didn’t impact Trump’s thinking on the wall, you don’t know Trump,” Cillizza wrote.
“If [Trump] agrees to the [short-term funding resolution] which would continue funding the government at the current levels… he loses and the Democrats will win everything they want.”
Others have suggested that Trump was more interested in a fight about funding for the border wall than actually securing the funding itself, given his lack of negotiations on the matter and sharp demands to a Congress that did not seem interested in funding the wall.
It was not clear if there was support even among Republicans to give Donald Trump the funding he was seeking for his border wall. As Politico reported, Trump has been swayed by the faction of Republicans who opposed even the Obamacare reveal because it was not conservative enough, and who were pushing him toward a government shutdown. But meanwhile, Senate Republicans had no consensus about how they would be able to proceed.