Funding for President Donald Trump’s massive and catastrophically expensive wall at the U.S. border with Mexico could be the deciding factor as to whether the government stays open past April 28.
As The Washington Post reported Thursday night, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney explicitly said he’s using Trump’s wall as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Democrats, telling them that Republicans could be open to funding some of their pet causes–like subsidies under the Affordable Care Act–if they’ll vote to fund the wall.
“If [Democrats] tell us to pound sand, I think that’s probably a disappointing indicator of where the next four years is going to go,” Mulvaney said at an event on Thursday. “If they tell us, however, that they recognize that President Trump won an election, and he should get some of his priorities funded for that reason, elections have consequences, as folks who win always like to say.”
While the details of this deal with the devil are still being worked out, Senate Democrats said the White House was interfering with what have so far been successful negotiation talks.
Whatever form the final deal takes, it’s probably worth not holding your breath for a payment plan for Mexico to pay back American taxpayers.