Good morning it is the day after Thanksgiving and politics is back, baby. Trump got up early after his massively underwhelming Thanksgiving and decided to buckle down and get to work, firing off two tweets in the morning urging lawmakers (particularly in the Senate) to get on board with a couple of issues the President is hoping to push through, mainly dealing with the budget. So what’s Trump shopping for on Black Friday? The Wall.
If you remember back in September, Congress effectively kicked the can down the road on spending bills, passing enough to avoid a shutdown and fund the government until December 7. The root of that conflict, and why Congress decided to put off the fight until after the midterms, was how the president would get money to fund the wall. But now we’re back and about to go again, this time with over 5,000 troops on the border who are newly-authorized to use lethal force.
(Border Security, in this context, most likely means the wall.) Yesterday, Trump just directly threatened to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his Wall money. Per Reuters:
“Could there be a shut down? There certainly could and it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part,” Trump told reporters in Palm Beach, Florida.
This is the same threat he’s been making since July, so if Congress’s stopgap spending bills were an attempt to get the president’s tiny child-brain to move on to other things, they failed completely.
The second part of Trump’s Black Friday budget-bill bonanza was a plea for “Criminal Justice Reform”
This one refers to the First Step Act, a narrow bill that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for some Federal inmates convicted of drug offenses. The problem is experts say it’ll only affect about 3 percent of the 181,000 inmates in federal prisons—in other words, it’s a flashy drop in the bucket that would give the Trump administration a big bipartisan deal to hang its hat on, but wouldn’t do a whole lot to actually reform the broken criminal justice system. Also, Mitch McConnell doesn’t think there’s enough time to vote on it and doesn’t want to do anything.
As a result, the First Step Act would affect less than 3 percent of the 181,000 inmates currently in federal prisons. It would have no bearing on state prisons, where the majority of the country’s 1.51 million inmates are held.
“I don’t think the impact on a system this size from these reforms will be substantial,” Martin Horn, executive director of the New York State Sentencing Commission, told CNBC in an email.
Anyway, after firing off that one, Trump decided that was good enough for the day and left to go golfing.
Great, looks like we’re done here.