Jan 25, 2019

Trump caves to Pelosi

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump created the longest government shutdown in U.S. history so he could get $5.7 billion for a border wall, and today he caved in exchange for $0.

Driving the news: Trump will sign a short-term deal that will open the government for three weeks. During that stretch, the House and Senate will go to conference to discuss border funding. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency," Trump said today.

The big picture: The president delivered nothing for his base and created financial instability for millions of others, uniting Democrats around House Speaker Pelosi, who emerged as his foil during the stretch.

  • Trump challenged her for wall funding ... and got nothing
  • He fought her on the State of the Union ... and got nothing
  • And he teased a national emergency ... but didn't do it

The other side: Some conservative senior administration officials are relieved at the continuing resolution.

  • A senior official tells Axios' Jonathan Swan he was worried Trump was so desperate for the wall funding that he’d be willing to give away almost anything on immigration in return. 

What's next: If the dealmaking fails, Trump will have to decide whether to risk shutting down the government in the middle of tax season, potentially prompting a return to the budding commercial air travel crisis.

  • 14,000 IRS workers reportedly didn't come to work during the shutdown, imperiling tax returns.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration slowed down flights to several major airports today, citing staffing issues.
  • And a flight attendants union threatened work stoppages today, which they could certainly resume if the shutdown returns.

The bottom line: See you February 15th!

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