On Tuesday, the Senate passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through the midterms. Hailed as a bipartisan achievement, the bill funds Labor, Education, and the Health and Human Services departments, gives the Pentagon more money, and extends the Violence Against Women Act. The bill passed by an astonishing 93-7 vote, and surprised the Washington press corps for its distinct lack of a bloody gladiator brawl on the Senate floor.

Over in the House, Republicans signaled that they were on board too. Eager to avoid another shutdown, Paul Ryan stated in a press conference that he had a "good understanding" with Trump, and was "confident our understanding will stick" despite the word salad coming out of the White House. But on Thursday, Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue went on Fox & Friends at 6:30 in the fucking morning to let Trump know that Congress still refused to pay for his goddamn wall.

Sure as a dog will shit uncontrollably after eating a wheel of cheese, Trump immediately fired off three tweets quoting Perdue demanding Congress, not Mexico, pay for his wall. Never mind that Perdue is from a state a thousand miles from the Mexican border -- geography is for losers who don't understand border security. America has been flooded with rapists and killers and we have to defend ourselves from the bad hombres grabbing lady liberty by the pussy (just not the ones nominated to the Supreme Court)!


Trump's been flirting with the idea of shutting the government down (again) since the last time he shut the government down. Back in January, the guy who's "really great at making deals" complained that Democrats ruined his $100,000-per-couple party at Mar-a-Lago after they refused to deport Dreamers. At the time, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer actually offered billions for Trump's wall provided he give legal status to undocumented immigrant children brought to the US by their parents, but Trump said no. A bewildered Schumer would later trudge out onto the Senate floor and declare, "Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O."

Oh, how innocent we were nine months ago! Before the baby jails. Before the trade war. Before yeti pubes and Toad penis.

This past spring, Trump threatened to shut the government down over a lack of funding for his dumb wall, but he ultimately caved. At the beginning of September, Trump sat down for a softcore interview with the ever loyal Daily Caller. He blurted out that he "doesn't like the idea of shutdown," and didn't see himself "or anybody else closing down the country right now." A few days later, surrounded by reporters during one of his reality show Cabinet meetings, Trump changed his mind and said, "If it happens, it happens. ... If it's about border security, I'm willing to do anything."

Trump thinks that a shutdown is a "great political issue," and some press wizards think he'll probably do it in order to rally his base and create a distraction if/when Republicans lose the House and the Senate. Republican leaders specifically crafted this bill to avoid a shutdown before the midterms. Their hope was that by putting a bunch of must-pass spending measures into one bill they could avoid political suicide until the holidays. There were murmurs some Republicans might vote against the bill, and Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, told Politico, "Most of the Democrats will vote for this and smile very big. It's a Democrat 'Labor-HHS' bill."

House Republicans are about to give up. They know Trump would get blamed for shutting the government down, screwing Republicans and adding to their exponentially long list of self-inflicted wounds. There was hope that they could trick Trump into signing the bill by touting how it gives the Pentagon an additional $17 billion, but who knows whether he'll cave. Trump will simply pander to his base of stubborn old white people in landlocked states who wouldn't know a Mexican from a Muslim, and blame everyone but himself as the government shuts down right before an election.

[Roll Call / Media Matters / Washington Post]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.

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