Congress actually compromised on something — a spending bill to be signed this week that would last through the rest of the fiscal year. Given the current polarization in the country, that is nothing short of a miracle. But leave it to the president to ruin the one good thing happening in Washington. "Our country needs a good 'shutdown' in September to fix mess!" Trump tweeted Tuesday about the need for Democrats and Republicans to agree, shocking many. Well, leave it to Sen. Elizabeth Warren to explain to Trump that shutting down government could have repercussions.
Normally, of course, a president wouldn't say this type of thing. Democrats tweeted as much afterwards. "The President just called for a government shutdown this fall. No President has ever done anything like this," Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz sent out. The incredulity carried over, of course, to cable news. MSNBC's Chris Matthews, talking about a possible shutdown with his guest Sen. Warren, said, "I've never seen a guy or woman, anybody, say, 'Ya, that'd be good." Warren more than agreed:
It is staggeringly irresponsible to say, 'Let's just shut down the government. In fact, it was the threat of shutting down the government, the fact that the Republicans would own it since they have the White House, they have the Senate, they have the House of Representatives that drove Congress toward cutting this budget deal that we're going to sign off on this week.
Then she got into the reasons why the shutdown is a bad move. "When the government is shut down, it costs this country literally billions, even trillions, of dollars," Warren explained. "We miss out on all kinds of contracts, we shut things down that means that tourists can't come, it is everywhere." As Marketplace explained, workers that are paid by government contract also stop spending, and it's overall a big drag on the economy. The 2013 shutdown cost the economy about $24 billion according to one estimate.
Therefore, the fact that a shutdown has been avoided should be welcomed and applauded by the president — not encouraged for the next budget showdown. Trump tweeted that the Senate rules should change to pass a budget with a simple majority, and not the filibuster-proof 60 votes that are needed now. "We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51 percent," Trump wrote.
Warren, meanwhile, doesn't think Trump's "solutions" are worth much:
Donald Trump just seems to helicopter in from who knows where and come up with ideas that are not just bad ideas but they're ideas that are damaging to the working families that he once promised he was going to make this government run for.
Really, what Warren is doing here is pointing out that the Republicans in Congress are better at governing than Trump is. That's not so much a compliment to the GOP senators and reps but a really bad jab at Trump himself.
Hopefully by September, when it will be time to approve spending for the next fiscal year, Trump will believe a bit more in compromise.