Was Donald Trump’s temporary “deal” to end the federal government shutdown a concession to Democrats, or was it a win for the GOP? That depends on how it’s spun. On Friday evening, January 25, Trump signed a bill to end the five-week government shutdown, and Trump himself appears to claim this action as a win, not a concession.
“This was in no way a concession,” Trump tweeted. “It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!”
Trump not only denies that he has made a concession, he appears to take on a position of concern about the well-being of the 800,000 federal workers who were impacted, implying that if not for the Democrats, the longest government shutdown in history would not have occurred, and federal workers would not have been furloughed or required to work without being paid.
Many Americans remember, however, that it was Trump who, on national television, proclaimed that he would “own a shutdown” if it occurred. When Trump and Democrats reached an impasse on funding for a wall on the U.S. – Mexico border, the shutdown went into effect the next day. It occurred because Trump had asked for $5.7 billion to be added to new legislation for federal spending, which would need to be passed before the previous spending legislation expired on December 21.
At the urging of Democrats, and after at least two paychecks were missed by the federal employees affected by the shutdown, Trump agreed to sign a bill to re-open the federal government for three weeks while House Democrats and Republicans attempt to work out a deal regarding U.S. border security.
As Shaun Hannity sees it, Trump “right now holds all the cards…He will secure the border one way or another.”
The spin continues, as Trump slithers around just what “border wall” means to him. The government was shut down as a result of Trump’s unyielding insistence on funding for the physical border wall he campaigned on, and Democrats’ refusal to support it. Now, however, Trump says this:
“We do not need 2000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea. We never did. We never proposed that. We never wanted that, because we have barriers at the border where natural structures are as good as anything that we can build.”
Perhaps Trump thinks his by now well-known tactic of “I never said that, and if I did say that, it’s not what I meant” demonstrates that he is the only rational party in the wall discussion. Perhaps he’s hoping that as he ends the government shutdown, Americans will somehow have forgotten the definition of “win.”
Anderson Cooper: Trump tries to redefine victory to avoid losing | CNN
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Fox News [2019-01-25]