Shutdown ends, so will Dems keep their word?
Now, the ball is in U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s court. She has insisted for weeks that she and other Democrats would negotiate over President Donald Trump’s request for funds to erect new physical barriers on the nation’s southern border only if he agreed to end the partial shutdown of federal government.
On Friday, he did just that. He agreed to sign legislation to fund those agencies that had been shut down for more than a month. Members of Congress acted swiftly to approve the necessary bills.
Trump was blunt: He is agreeing to allow the government to function normally for only about three weeks. During that time, he expects Pelosi to engage in good-faith discussions over the $5.7 billion sought for border barriers. Otherwise, the president vowed, he will declare a national emergency to provide the funding himself.
That would not be a good thing. Presidents, whether Republican or Democrat, are supposed to get appropriations from Congress. Unilaterally authorizing funds for border barriers would smack of the executive orders former President Barack Obama used so freely. But it may be necessary. Unless Pelosi acts.
It is her responsibility to keep her word about sitting down with Trump to find some compromise regarding his request. And make no mistake about it: Pelosi made the shutdown a personal test of wills against Trump. It had less to do with whether to fund the barriers than with her determination to score political points against the president.
So it is time for Pelosi to put up or shut up. If she sticks with her give-no-quarter attitude, the consequences of that will rest solely on her shoulders.