Federal Government Shutdown Theater 2018: The Drama Really Begins

To borrow a line from ABC’s reality shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and with all due apologies to host Chris Harrison, this may be the most dramatic season of Federal Government Shutdown Theater ever!

According to The Hill‘s Jordan Fabian, the fireworks started on December 11, 2018, shortly after President Trump unexpectedly invited the cameras into his meeting with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer:

President Trump on Tuesday engaged in an extraordinary argument with Democratic congressional leaders over government funding, threatening a partial shutdown if his demands for border wall money are not met.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) during a contentious, 17-minute exchange inside the Oval Office.

Trump’s vehemence left Pelosi and Schumer exasperated, with both leaders pleading with the president not to debate the funding request in front of the news media.

“Unfortunately, this has spiraled downward,” Pelosi said, after arguing with the president over the need for a border wall and whether Republicans have the votes to pass wall funding through the House.

“It’s not bad, Nancy. It’s called transparency,” Trump shot back after one objection from Pelosi, who appeared to anger the president when she accused him of wanting a “Trump shutdown” over the wall.

CNN has uploaded a video of the exchange to YouTube.

It’s official. Federal Government Shutdown Theater season has truly begun! Stay tuned!

Craig Eyermann is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.
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