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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TheLastTrump's picture

Oh, this is where all the leftist shills, sock puppet masturbators & morally confused Ron PaulBotz racists are. I missed y'all on the other threads.


Go fuck yourselves.


One simple answer to all the anti Trump FUCKS whining & crying about TRUMP:


The fact that illegal immigration is down almost 70 fucking percent year over year is a fucking MIRACLE. And it's JUST GETTING STARTED.


GOD Bless America and fuck you if you don't agree.

TheLastTrump's picture

Yeah, sure, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump....without exception....are "the nastiest, shittiest humans".


You're better off doing manual labor then thoughtful exposition anyway.

Fisherman Blue's picture

"Shit. Shut it down forever. " Yes please mother fucker please!

az_patriot's picture

Government "shutdowns" are all smoke and mirrors.  The non-essential workers are sent home and the government continues operations.  Yawn.

HockeyFool's picture

And when they come back to work, they get the back pay they missed during the shutdown.

geno-econ's picture

It's called a paid vacation resulting in increased  productivity

Fisherman Blue's picture

And it is criminal that tehy get it.

roadhazard's picture

So if the Gov. shuts down who's in charge. Trump has let the Military off the leash to do what they feel best so we have that going for us.

GunnyG's picture

Gotta start somewhere. He already saved 86B by voiding regulations from the Magic Negro Era. 

Barrock's picture

Here we go with the propaganda to "shut down" the government again!  This has become the predictable tactic of the Republican controlled House to continually raise the debt limit and overall spending.  It never seems to end! 

billwilson2's picture

Trump will loveit. Even more time for golf. Lazy ass.

Michigander's picture

Shutdown my ass. The 1% nonessential go home but will be recieve retroactive pay for doing nothing after it "reopens". All the money needed will be borrowed intragovernmentally. Once settled and reopened, there's a huge spike in debt as all the borrowing during the "closure" is paid back.  Nothing but a fucking circus, but with no monkey this time.

Hal n back's picture

my kid is an atty with govt-does her work and well. Last shutdown she had to work and was really pissed that those furloughed received retro pay and a little interest.


New_Meat's picture

"Life is good in the Capital District!"

TheLastTrump's picture

You do not know how this admin will handle a shut down vs the Obama admin in 2013.


Some of you guys keep extrapolating from past events as if it's a fait accompli, that's foolishness.

ClowardPiven2016's picture

temporary partial shutdown = paid vacation for thousands of Federal workers when they get back to "work" and get paid for the time they were off

all-priced-in's picture

File for bankruptcy on May 1ST - 


Assets - some real estate, a few monuments and some national parks, some military gear and a worn out printing press.  

Liabilities - a few hundred trillion of debt and unfunded liabilities.



Burn this mother fucker down!



crazybob369's picture

And I thought my balance sheet was bad!!

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Assets - some real estate, a few monuments and some national parks, some military gear and a worn out printing press.  

You forgot to include Good Will.

knukles's picture

Didn't Good Will get shot in the face by Chaney when they were snipe hunting?

TheLastTrump's picture

Snide...ask Japan & South Korea if they're happy the USA is on their side.


Ask Vietnam & the Phillipines and other South China Sea stakeholders if they're happy the US is around to be counterpoint to China's imperialist ambitions.


China's neighbors have been scared shitless for years and have been arming up- check it out.



AE911Truth's picture

Last action before permanent government shutdown, revoke the Federal Reserve charter, and legal tender laws. Make the Federal Reserve Note worthless. We can barter and trade with real goods and services, gold, silver, etc.


jughead's picture

shut it down, put a fucking lock on it and toss it into the ocean.  

Ricki13th's picture

Stocks? buying the big Tax cuts but is blind to the fact that Marine Le Pen will win and the Gov't will shutdown over Trump's border wall funding. Oops!

DEMIZEN's picture

the government will save bigly

pebblewriter's picture

I'm shocked that they didn't call AP to relay their concerns about the shutdown and the steps they're taking to prepare.

Duc888's picture



President Trump could be the best President evaaaaa, if he shut down 80% of Fedgov.

TheLastTrump's picture

Hell the never Trumper RINO's and the Democrats & their whining useless as tits on a boar hog media cry & moan about a small reduction, Trump can't even TALK ABOUT his 20% reduction goal without people screaming children will be tortured.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

O noes! I am so depressed.  My plans to visit the washington (phallus) monument might be cancelled!

In early 1848, workers started to build the Washington Monument's foundation.[44] On July 4, 1848, the Freemasons, an organization to which Washington belonged, laid the cornerstone (symbolically, not physically).

One of We's picture

 [the Johnsons load their guns and point them at Bart. Bart then points his own pistol at his head]

Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!

Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He's not bluffing.

Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He's just crazy enough to do it!

Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I'll blow this nigger's head all over this town!


economessed's picture

Let's remind an overwhelming majority of employees that they are "nonessential" and send them home.  Then let's never ask them to come back.  This would be the first small step in a positive direction.  Next, we can lop-off 25% of military spending which covers all the gold-plated crap unrelated to defending the country, and we can trip Homeland Security by 60% right away as well starting with the MF'ers at TSA.

wow thats crazy's picture

They should send them all home! and make a job posting for each and every position and hire only the most qualified by their level of education.

wow thats crazy's picture

What the fuck does it really matter, Was that the week they were about to get something done???

youarelost's picture

Next is Full amnesty


And the cult will go right along with it

hotrod's picture

Spring Break and paid time off for Fed Gov employees.  Get those tickets for Disney World.

Fake Trump's picture


Pasadena Phil's picture

We didn't elect Trump to "get things done" but rather to "get things undone"! Shut it down!

Danedog's picture

"shutdown threat seemed very low as Congressional GOP leadership, appropriators hammered out spending agreements"  Yeah right.  Ryan first vacationed at Universal studios then made a European jaunt to try to resurect TTIP.  The GOP leadership is in sabotage mode to feed the swamp creatures.  Dump Ryan.  He is a slimy swamp creature.

Pasadena Phil's picture

Most of us voted for Trump expecting, even demanding, a government shutdown if that is what it takes. This only works against the GOP if they again adopt the Democratic Party "always blame the Republicans" narrative. They are the only team on the field. SCORE FOR ONCE!.

astartes09's picture

Controls all three branches of government.  Cant keep a government functioning for longer than a few hundred days.

onasip123's picture

If Trump shuts down the government to push Obamacare repeal and immigration restrictions, all is forgiven in my book.  The longer the federal governement is shut down, the better.

wow thats crazy's picture

and loss of a days pay for every government employee the government is shut down!

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Flipping and flopping is not a strategy.

Carpe Tutti Bastardi's picture

One word.......STRATEGY!

He's got everyone off guard and flat footed!