In the looming shadow of a potential government shutdown, former President Donald Trump, who presided over the longest government shutdown in U.S. history in 2019, has voiced a controversial call to action for his fellow Republicans.
The government faces another potential halt in operations due to a lack of funding, Trump is urging his party not to back down on spending cuts and, if necessary, shut the government down again.
Trump sees this impending shutdown as an opportunity to wield financial leverage.
With the clock ticking toward September 30th, Trump used his social media platform, Truth Social, to offer advice to Republican lawmakers.
Echoes of 2019 Shutdown
His message was clear: if Congress fails to secure a funding agreement, the GOP should stand firm on its demands for spending cuts.
Trump’s words come against the backdrop of a deeply divided Congress struggling to find common ground on funding the government.
The stakes are high, with the memory of the 35-day government shutdown in 2019, which Trump presided over, still fresh in the minds of Americans.
Trump’s message, delivered with his signature flair, emphasized the significance of the moment: “Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State,” Trump declared.
“This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots. They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”
While he didn’t specify the prosecutions in question, his message indicated a desire to leverage the budget debate to address what he perceives are political injustices against him.
Regarding the debt limit, Trump is talking about the compromises made earlier this year by Republicans and Democrats to raise it.
Back then, they needed to avoid a potentially catastrophic default. However, those negotiations didn’t result in the substantial spending cuts that Republicans were aiming for.
This is why Trump is now urging his party to stand firm on government funding.
The internal divisions within the Republican Party complicate this approach.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy recently faced a setback when he had to cancel a vote on a continuing resolution put forth by conservative lawmakers.
This resolution aimed to keep the government funded through October 31st but lacked sufficient support from within the GOP.
McCarthy’s next move involves creating a funding bill that includes both more significant spending cuts and an immigration package.
Democrats, however, are likely to oppose this move. If things go this way, conservative Republicans who have been hesitant to support such a bill will be crucial.
If McCarthy can’t get their support, he might have to rely on Democratic votes to prevent a government shutdown.
Congressional Frustration Mounts
However, doing so could put his role as Speaker of the House at risk, according to Republican Representative Matt Gaetz.
The ongoing disputes within Congress have left lawmakers on both sides frustrated.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “It’s yet another reminder that in both houses, a small group of hard-right Republicans are dead set to grind the gears of government to a halt.”
A potential government shutdown would have far-reaching consequences, including the furloughing of thousands of government employees.
Delays in critical programs such as Social Security and SNAP could negatively impact Americans who rely on these services.
As the deadline looms, the nation watches closely, hoping for a resolution but increasingly concerned about the prospects of a government shutdown.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gil Corzo
Source: Business Insider