Trump Administration Begins Quiet Preparations For Government Shutdown

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government shutdown

Even as Donald Trump is desperate to show to the US population, and especially his voter base, some actual achievement before his first 100 days run out next weekend, prompting him to tell AP that he will unveil a “tremendous” tax cut plan next week (recall he did the same in February), the Trump administration is quietly preparing for the possibility of a government shutdown, even though the president and his staff believe one is unlikely to occur.

As a reminder, the government will shut down at midnight on April 28 if Congress cannot agree on a spending bill. As reported over the past week, the measure hit various snags over Trump’s demands to include funding for Trump’s border wall and a debate over money for an Obamacare insurer subsidy program, both programs which virtually assure the spending bill will not pass.

As a result, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has begun to coordinate with government agencies to plan for a possible shutdown. “While we do not expect a lapse, prudence and common sense require routine assessments will be made,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement.

The office set up a phone call to go over the agencies’ shutdown plans, which could include steps such as furloughs for federal workers. The OMB said the plans were reviewed ahead of a possible shutdown last December and are unlikely to be revised.

As Compass Point analyst Isaac Boltansky, notes, “wall funding is just one of many policy potholes that could disrupt negotiations, including ACA cost-sharing subsidies, coal miner benefits, sanctuary cities.”

To be sure, Congress can avoid a full-blown shutdown if it passes a short-term spending measure to keep the government open while negotiations over a broader funding deal continue, but even that process has been put into question.

“I think we’re in good shape,” President Trump said when asked about the possibility of a shutdown. “We remain confident we’re not going to have a shutdown,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a separate off-camera briefing, calling the preparation “required steps” for the federal agencies and departments.

Some analysts disagree with the optimistic assessment.

According to Cowen’s Chris Kruger “shutdown theatrics reach fever pitch next week, with one-week punt most likely outcome” however he focuses on the “White House’s misconception they have any leverage with Democrats when it’s the opposite, as Congressional Democrats have less than zero incentive to compromise with Trump and Trump needs them to keep govt from shutting down.”

As such unless Trump concedes to all demands, not only is a full spending bill out of the question, but even a short-term agreement appears precarious.

More ominously, Kruger adds that “until this week, shutdown threat seemed very low as Congressional GOP leadership, appropriators hammered out spending agreements, were on same page as Democrats; that went sideways when White House pushed more confrontational approach on Obamacare, immigration.

Meanwhile, Height Securities’ Peter Cohn has noted the House Democrats taking a hard line against even one-week stopgap continuing resolution (CR) “due to unresolved White House demands on funding wall construction, withholding funds from sanctuary cities.”

He sees 25% odds for temporary partial shutdown, with path to deal including boost for border “security” funds (not wall), added military funding. Others, such as Goldman see shutdown odds at one in three (and rising).

Should the White House be unable to concede on some of the controversial demands floated in recent days, we expect the shut down odds to rise substantially, and instead of a “massive” tax cut, the most likely outcome may in fact be a closed government starting next weekend, and lasting for the foreseeable future.

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  • Gregory Walls

    Shut it down! Good riddance!

    • Simon says

      I agree but the GOV still pays back all fed employees lost time when they return… so now they will be paid to stay home and do nothing instead of driving in and doing nothing.

      • TripletMom1993

        Not true! During the last USG shutdown, reimbursement did not occur. I know some who do nothing and get paid; however, not everyone is that way.

  • Frank

    When are the Dems gonna be put in their place and be confronted for their bullying, pointless demands that debt and special interest/social program spending continues unabated? Carpe diem, President Trump, carpe diem! We need spending cuts! Lay the shutdown at the feet of the Congressional Dems who refuse to “compromise” unless they get everything they want. Tell the truth about their refusal to cut pork-barrel funding for programs that enrich cronies and the Donor Class.
    Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already said that the Dems are going to oppose any cuts to Planned Parenthood and any funding for a border security wall. Schumer should be drug out into the street and shot, and let that be an example for all the others who have taken to base-less opposition to fiscal responsibility and cuts to non-essential, corporate and social welfare largesse.

    • Linda Sellers

      Very well said Frank💋. I totally agree. Enough is enough, we need to kick the jihad Democrats asses once and for all.

    • portlandrain

      Lets see in a Week, April 29th, the President and Majority of Rebublicants will still shut down the Government, Just like the 95-96 and 2013 and still blame the D’s

  • John C Carleton

    Good. Nail the dam doors shut, turn out the lights, and turn Washington DC into a land fill.
    America will be freer, and a better place to live for the common man and women, and their children.

    • Fingal Carson

      States needs to start running things and if people don’t like them, they need to learn to step up and clean out their States and Counties and Cities/Towns. States lines need to be redrawn, whether we have 37 states or 109 states – who cares!

      A federally run government is an absolute disaster. I never want the centralisation disease that spread and manifested in libtard places like Europe. They can keep that and their bordering communist politics, nasty warm sugar beer, hybridised franken-wheat, manual transmission cars, and arrogant, know-it-all attitude if they can’t wake up. I hope Europe wakes up but wow did they go far into that deep end. Makes mainland US seem like paradise sometimes.

      The US still births and hosts virtually every innovator, genius and company that is important to the world because the Gods know that despite how screwed up the world and D.C. are, this is among only the countries that still has a chance. People have to take that seriously.

      • John C Carleton

        The States, whether together or independent, must be returned their sovereignty. That way, don’t like the crap where you live, move to a State where people think like you.

        • Fingal Carson

          Exactly. And that’s exactly what the original confederation was about until rich libtard zionists decided to give us the ‘yankee’ constitution and then amended it further for taxes and the rest of the nasties.

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        • huntress

          Unfortunately, the cancer of dumbocraps follow.

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    • Mark Williams

      Let the Govs take control of their States and fire the Feds!

    • LiarsAllofThem-ᴮᵃᶰᶰᵉᵈ

      LOL That is what I call “Making America Great Again!”

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  • tonye

    Desperate?

    Really?

    Heck, just it down, who cares?

  • Smarty

    Shut it down and leave it that way….

  • celticreeler

    I’m kinda hoping for a shut down so people can realize that there isn’t quite so much reason to be terrified.

  • Jeri Brace

    anyone in congress with more than 8 years in office to get recalled and special elections held to replace them. that’s making America great again!

  • huntress

    Good!!!! SHUT IT DOWN!