Trump Administration Begins Quiet Preparations For Government Shutdown

Tyler Durden's picture

Even as Donald Trump is desperate to show to the US population, and especially his voter base, some actual achievement before his first 100 days run out next weekend, prompting him to tell AP that he will unveil a "tremendous" tax ut plan next week (recall he did the same in February), the Trump administration is quietly preparing for the possibility of a government shutdown, even though the president and his staff believe one is unlikely to occur. 

With the Senate reconvening on Monday and the House of Representatives on Tuesday after a two-week recess, lawmakers will have only four days to pass a spending package to keep the government open beyond April 28, when funding expires for numerous federal programs. "I think we want to keep the government open," Trump said on Thursday, adding he thinks Congress can pass the funding legislation and perhaps also a revamped healthcare bill.

Trump's wish may be problematic: as a reminder, the government will shut down midnight on April 28 if Congress cannot agree on a spending bill. As reported over the past week, the measure hit various snags over Trump's demands to include funding for Trump’s border wall and a debate over money for an ObamaCare insurer subsidy program, both programs which virtually assure the spending bill will not pass.

As a result, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has begun to coordinate with government agencies to plan for a possible shutdown. “While we do not expect a lapse, prudence and common sense require routine assessments will be made,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement.

The office set up a phone call to go over the agencies’ shutdown plans, which could include steps such as furloughs for federal workers.  The OMB said the plans were reviewed ahead of a possible shutdown last December and are unlikely to be revised.

As Compass Point analyst Isaac Boltansky, notes, "wall funding is just one of many policy potholes that could disrupt negotiations, including ACA cost-sharing subsidies, coal miner benefits, sanctuary cities."

To be sure, Congress can avoid a full-blown shutdown if it passes a short-term spending measure to keep the government open while negotiations over a broader funding deal continue, but even that process has been put into question.

"I think we're in good shape," President Trump said when asked about the possibility of a shutdown. “We remain confident we’re not going to have a shutdown,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a separate off-camera briefing, calling the preparation “required steps” for the federal agencies and departments.

Some analysts disagree with the optimistic assessment.

According to Cowen's Chris Kruger "shutdown theatrics reach fever pitch next week, with one-week punt most likely outcome" however he focuses on the "White House’s misconception they have any leverage with Democrats when it’s the opposite, as Congressional Democrats have less than zero incentive to compromise with Trump and Trump needs them to keep govt from shutting down."

As such unless Trump concedes to all demands, not only is a full spending bill out of the question, but even a short-term agreement appears precarious.

More ominously, Kruger adds that "until this week, shutdown threat seemed very low as Congressional GOP leadership, appropriators hammered out spending agreements, were on same page as Democrats; that went sideways when White House pushed more confrontational approach on ObamaCare, immigration."

Meanwhile, Height Securities' Peter Cohn has noted the House Democrats taking a hard line against even one-week stopgap continuing resolution (CR) "due to unresolved White House demands on funding wall construction, withholding funds from sanctuary cities."

He sees 25% odds for temporary partial shutdown, with path to deal including boost for border "security" funds (not wall), added military funding. Others, such as Goldman see shutdown odds at one in three (and rising).

As Reuters adds, leading House Democrats were voicing skepticism a deal could be reached by the deadline. In a telephone call for House Democrats, Representative Nita Lowey, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said: "I don't see how we can meet that deadline" and avoid having to pass a short-term extension, according to an aide on the call. The second-ranking House Democrat, Representative Steny Hoyer, told his fellow Democrats that they should only support such a short-term measure if a deal on long-term bill is reached and only finishing touches remained, the aide said.

Republican leaders face a familiar balancing act: satisfying the party's most conservative members while not alienating its moderates.

Rules in the 100-seat Senate mean Trump's party also would need the support of at least eight Democrats even if the Republicans remain unified, giving the opposition party leverage. House Republican leaders would need some Democratic votes if the most conservative lawmakers object to the bill, as they did to the healthcare plan championed by Speaker Paul Ryan. With congressional elections looming next year, Republicans acknowledge the stakes are high.

"Even our most recalcitrant members understand that if you shut down the government while you're running it and you control the House and the Senate, you can't blame anybody but yourself," said Representative Tom Cole, a senior House Appropriations Committee Republican.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the Trump administration was willing to talk to Democrats about funding for Obamacare subsidies in exchange for their agreement to include some Trump priorities such as the wall, the defense hike and more money for immigration enforcement. "It is ripe for some type of negotiated agreement that gives the president some of his priorities and Democrats some of their priorities. So we think we've opened the door for that," Mulvaney said.

Democrats reacted negatively. "Everything had been moving smoothly until the administration moved in with a heavy hand. Not only are Democrats opposed to the wall, there is significant Republican opposition as well,” said Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

* * *

Should the Trump and the GOP be unable to concede on some of the controversial demands floated in recent days, we expect the shut down odds to rise substantially, and instead of a "massive" tax cut, the most likely outcome may in fact be a closed government starting next weekend, and lasting for the foreseeable future.

The government was last forced to close in October 2013, when Republican Senator Ted Cruz and some of the most conservative House Republicans engineered a 17-day shutdown in an unsuccessful quest to kill Democratic former President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Meanwhile, the current Congress has passed no major legislation since Trump took office in January. Among his ambitions are hopes for major tax-cut legislation, infrastructure spending and other bills.

A federal closure would shutter National Park Service destinations like the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Government medical research would be suspended. Thousands of federal workers would be furloughed with thousands more working without pay until the shutdown ends, including homeland security personnel. Some veterans benefits could be suspended.

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BrownCoat's picture

"that went sideways when White House pushed..." 

This is like a labor contract negotiation between John Q Public and the national government. Trump is doing what John Q Public wants and the (boot stomping on the face forever) government wants business as usual. NO WONDER the Rinos and Dimocrats in Congress agree! Both groups believe in big, bloated, expensive government.  

pugilist's picture

TSA goons will be grumpier than usual

yogibear's picture

Leave the dept of education closed down.

buttmint's picture

...what will all the crack 'ho's over at DEA do with all their free time sudden;ly on their hands?

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"Not everything has to reopen."

Which is why this will probably "happen"(!

When you come right down to it when you don't have enough money to "decommission" them early because of cost and the expense of disposal it's a cost effective way to deal with the challenges in our nuclear age pre-apocalyptic world "out of choice" "WE THE PEOPLE" allow ourselves to live in!...

I say we do the same with the U.S.S. Enterprise ( and make it a "COMBO"!...

"HOW" to start WWIII "ON A BUDGET"!!!

Have to figure out a way to "make a draft" HAPPEN when you are $24 trillion in the red that made your military WHAT IT IS TODAY?!!!

Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

That article is insane but I will say it covers a lot of important things and fills in all the gaps.  Could be on to something.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

"Not everything has to reopen."

That's right.  Trump should let the gubmint shut down, and make it clear to libs/statists/big gubmint lubbers/Fed teatsuckers that the longer the shutdown goes, the more gubmint depts. that will never re-open.

Such as:




So go ahead, Chuck, shut that fucker down.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Shut it down?

No. Burn it to the ground.

BabaLooey's picture


A SHITLOAD of pink slips needs to be air-dropped. 


CClarity's picture

So San Francisco power grid blackout today just a trial run!

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Anyone panic and shoot up their subdivision?  "WOLVERINES"


Red Dawn - Clip 06 - WOLVERINES!
yogibear's picture

Yep, a trial run.

They'll take it down for days causing riots and looting.


Shut it down permanently. 

The country will be better off without it.

Take out state government too, while you are at it.  

Manthong's picture

Geez, I can shoot a .45 long Colt better with a blindfold on.

..but that gunfight is truly representative of what happens in Con-gress...

lots of misses and wasted ammo.


MagicalUnicornFarts's picture

Its amazing how the GOP is full of nothing but spineless fucking pussies who are afraid of their own g*damn shadows. 



Americans will yawn as a govt shutdown of non-essential staff won't affect a fucking thing for 90% of the population!







New_Meat's picture

Yo, Snake, do you know of any business in the "Dreaded Private Sector" that has anything but "critical jobs?"


Hata Mari's picture

Agree! And none of this 'paid vacation' like last time. You want pay, use your vacation time. If that gets used up, oh well!

We'll see exactly how essential all these services are. Ticks me off the Dems aren't willing to negotiate (tho I guess it's a case of what goes around, comes around).

In the meantime, The People get screwed ... again.

Our legislators have forgotten their purpose. Time to wipe the slate clean.

Freddie's picture

What critical jobs?  Protecting the border maybe?   They always exempt the military because we cannot shut down the wars.

DarkestbeforeDawn's picture

Was involved in (3)gov't shutdowns.  Critical functions continue.  No one will notice the difference.  Trump could shut it down permanently and that'd be an awesome start to draining that vile, vermin filled swamp

World-Gone-Mad's picture

Completely agree. Let it be shut down, and DO NOT compromise on campaign promises: repeal ObamaCare and go to market-based healthcare, build the wall, drain the swamp (perfect opportunity now!). The longer the government is shut down the more Americans will see we don't need or want this massive unconstitutional blight on America. THAT'S what government is afraid of.

Looney's picture


Hey, Trump! Stop signing them Executive Fatwas already. The next Ayatollah can undo them as quickly as you sign’em.

Start doing your fucking job, you doorless knob!


Looney   ;-)

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

Trump...just roll the tanks up to 33 liberty and end this fucking fiasco once and for all you gutless piece of shit.


BigFatUglyBubble's picture

"you dont know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master".

-Darth Vader

cheech_wizard's picture

I'd prefer drone strikes on K street, but that's just me.


BorisTheBlade's picture

Stop interfering with the guy being a bowling ball and knocking down all the pins in one strike. He's doing a mighty fine job whether consciously or not. Well, so far.

laisla's picture

winning? spoiler alert-I've seen this show and mabey a few parks and monuments get temporally closed but nothing is getting shut down-never has never will. meet the new boss-same as the old boss disguised in orange. lol

keep the bastards honest's picture

Does failure to fund allow Trump to do as he pleases without congress?

ZH Snob's picture

the main reason they fear a shutdown is that it gives the people a glimpse into how little we actually need big government.

Anteater's picture Mil.Gov employees ladder-up their credit preparing for an extended and ALWAYS RETROACTIVELY-PAID SPRING BREAK.

Can you imagine if Corporate had to retroactively pay for extended employee layoffs?

Wait, it gets better!

USA has 1,000 Admirals and 1,000 Generals. They each get $250,000 a year salary, housing and utilities allowance, deep discount gas and groceries, free medical, free air travel and full pension, whether they have a duty station, or just spend their days on the golfcourse and the officer's club. Permanent paid vacay! 

If Trump gets his 355-ship Navy, you could put an Admiral on the bridge of every ship, even every LST and fuel barge, and still have 100 Admirals left to wade ashore and declare the beach head secure.

Trump could put his Generals in every division, every brigade, even a General beside the LT in every platoon, and still have 50 Generals left over to sit in the studio and give a play-by-play analysis to all the 10,000,000s of unemployed viewers, who are getting damned sick of this $5.4 TRILLION Mil.Gov leech fest.

Republicans are no different than Vince McMahon and WWE clown show. MIL.GOV IS STAGE 5 METASTASIZING!

HRClinton's picture

The Deep State and the Military are exempt. As always. 

You were saying? 

jeffglobal's picture

I can go camping and not be shaken down from some POS bull dyke.  Just that is a win for me.

davinci7_gis's picture

I put off paying my taxes until later this year...I wonder if the US Treasury needed more of my cash :)

Caledonian's picture

We got to shut it down before we can figure out whats in it (pay for it).

jeffglobal's picture

Govt shuts down.  Public and WORLD rejoices.

Freddie's picture

Can we shut down the droning and the fake assed color revolutions?

Fisherman Blue's picture

"Fuck yeah!" I agree 100%  The only thing the .GOV bastards ever did to me was force me into cross bussing for racial integration and force me to write enormous checks to them every April. I have these crooked fuckers.

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

These 'shutdowns' are a damn joke.  First, approximately 2/3s of the government doesn't actually 'shut down' because the employees are deemed 'essential' and have to show up for work anyway.  Second, it demonstrates the worthlessness of the agencies that actually ARE 'shut down.'

Even if there is a 'shutdown,' the sun will come up the next morning, gravity will still be in force, the power will still be on, and life will go on as normal.

offwirenews's picture

Can't agree on a spending bill? How messed up does that sound. How bout a stop spending the people's money into oblivion bill?

Anteater's picture

Not counting the 10,000 'special immigration agents' he already hired, and the $B a day going to mercenary contractors on

Every American high school kid should have to write their graduate paper on military contracting and how to get into it. Then we wouldn't need to fly 119,000 blue monkey godders over from Hindustan every year, and 100,000s more foreign natiinals employed at every overseas base.

Why are we paying Army, Navy and Marine recruiters to put our kids in body bags?! Why aren't they recruiting for the MILLIONS of mercenary contractor and civilian war employee positions for Americans!?

Why doesn't Trump MAGA by decreeing not one single Pentagon job overseas or here goes to a Green Card alien and not one single mercenary defense (sic) contractor job goes to a foreign alien, as long as their is one American high school graduate to fill it?

There are US military bases overseas staffed almost entirely with foreign nationals who barely speak English, and make fire by rubbing two sticks together!! American youth could be 100% EMPLOYED through Pentagon contracts!

khnum's picture

cue Roger Ramjet and the tommahawk missiles stat

pebblewriter's picture

there IS a cold front heading for DC...

Seasmoke's picture

Shit. Shut it down forever.

chunga's picture

There is one thing I'd like to thank Trump for, and that's to remind me that without exception, the nastiest, shittiest humans are drawn to politics and govt. like a magnet. It's not worth paying attention to, and as soon as I finish my sandwich, snack period is over and I'm going back out to finish my fence, in the rain. It is way better than the lies.

Buchanon's article "Is Democracy Dead?" brought out some corrections that 'Murika is a republic and that is correct. However, the mob does rule, and the mob is made up of the elected representatives who never, ever act in anyone's best interest but their own. Ever.

Shut it down? Burn the fucking thing down, all of it, right down to the ground.