By Natasha Bach
November 21, 2018

President Trump has made it clear that a government shutdown could very well happen in early December if Congress doesn’t fund his border wall. Now that threat is creating one-upmanship between Democrats and Republicans, neither of whom want to give in, nor be the party responsible for thrusting the government into a partial shutdown.

Last week, Trump told reporters that it would be “a very good time to do a shutdown,” highlighting border security needs and pushing for funding for the border wall. With government funding due to run out on Dec. 7, Congress needs to act fast to avoid a shutdown, but neither side appears particularly willing to compromise.

On the one hand, Trump wants Republicans to secure $5 billion to fund the border wall, a figure that Democrats are unlikely to accept, according to Politico. Democrats, on the other hand, have a number of issues they hope to push ahead of the deadline that may not appeal to Republicans. These reportedly include passing legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as removing the citizenship question from the next census.

And those are just the combatting priorities of Senate members. In the House, Democrats are preparing to take the majority come January, but have yet to come to a consensus surrounding Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s leadership bid. Meanwhile, this could be the last chance for House Republicans to make a substantive play for getting border wall funding before they’re relegated to the minority in the next Congress.

The risk of conceding to the other party is almost as bad as the promise of a shutdown, meaning Congress could be heading toward a stalemate. And even if concessions are made—such as an agreement to fund the border wall at lower levels than the requested $5 billion—Trump himself could trigger a partial shutdown if he refuses to sign such a bill.

But all is not lost. Around 75% of the government is already funded through next fall following deals made this summer, meaning that a shutdown wouldn’t look as bad as the one that nearly happened at the start of the year.

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