Congress Should Not Acquiesce To Trump’s Childish Shutdown Demands [Opinion]

The president is holding his breath until he gets a wall. What will he demand the next time there is a funding crisis?

President Donald Trump at the White House, his arms crossed.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The president is holding his breath until he gets a wall. What will he demand the next time there is a funding crisis?

I became a parent at a reasonably young age.

Not too young, mind you — I was 24 at the time. I was old enough to know some things about the world, but young enough to know I had no idea what I was doing.

Even so, I did know, as my son grew older, that there has to be boundaries, structures in place to ensure that things didn’t get out of hand. It meant that he didn’t always get his way, and as a toddler he didn’t always understand why.

Children live by precedents. By “giving in” to my son’s tantrums — for example, the time he screamed loudly for 10 minutes to have ice cream on a night he didn’t eat any of his dinner — it would have set a terrible parenting precedent. My son would have realized that, to get his way, all he’d have to do would be to scream his head off again and again.

Governing is a lot like parenting. And President Donald Trump is a lot like a toddler.

Lawmakers in Congress know that the government needs to be funded by the end of the week. The deadline is midnight on Friday night. If the government shuts down, important agencies cease some operations, public services are stalled, and the economy likely sours, according to previous reporting from the Inquisitr.

President Donald Trump on Thursday signaled that he would not sign a stopgap spending bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday that would fund the government’s operations until February. His reasoning? He wants the spending bill to include billions of dollars for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, per reporting from Yahoo! News.

The border wall will not work, will not achieve Trump’s ends that he says it will. It will not slow down immigration into this country, and it will not do anything to stop terrorists from trying to enter America. It will be costly, however, and likely go over-budget, according to reporting from CNBC.

In trying to create a holdout situation, Trump is behaving very much like a toddler who doesn’t get his way. It’s not the proper way for adults to discuss things, let alone for presidents to negotiate with lawmakers in Congress, but it appears to be the only way Trump knows how to negotiate at all.

But if Congress chooses to give into Trump’s demands, it will appear to the president that these tactics work — and he, like any toddler who gets rewarded after throwing a fit, will do so again in the future. What more will Trump demand when the next funding crisis happens?

If a shutdown does indeed occur this week, it won’t be the fault of Democrats or Republicans in Congress who crafted legislation that would have allowed debate to continue well-into February. The fault will lie entirely on the president, who has failed to show he can lead like a grown-up during this whole ordeal.

But if Congress gives Trump what he wants by Friday, then it’s entirely their fault for what happens next — and for how Trump behaves — when future negotiations between the legislative and executive branches take place. Chances are, those conversations won’t include an individual who will negotiate in good faith, knowing exactly what he can get away with doing.