Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) doesn’t think President Donald Trump will back down in the fight over the border wall.
President Trump caught the ire of some Republicans when he signed his last omnibus bill that did not provide additional funding for the wall. Last years spending bills also secured funding for groups like Planned Parenthood. Members of the House Freedom Caucus, including Gaetz, were critical of Trump’s decision to back those spending packages.
Because these spending bills weren’t popular with Republicans, Trump vowed to never sign a deal like that again. Gaetz told Fox News that he believes the president won’t back down from this fight with Democrats over wall funding.
“He said he would not sign a bad deal. He deeply regrets having signed, I think, a very bad spending cap deal before and I think he’s informed by that regret as he’s making those decisions now and he is not going to give in without funding for border security.”
Gaetz said that he believes that the shutdown will work to pressure Democrats, despite some believing that the shut down gives Democrats power because they only have to wait it out until January 3 and then they will control the House.
“The Republicans largely represent districts where military and veterans issues drive the pain of a shutdown, but those things are funded,” said Gaetz. “I think leverage is all about the pain you are willing to inflict and the amount of pain you’re willing to withstand.”
Gaetz continued, “My assessment from being with the president yesterday is that he is in this for the long haul and he is not going to sign a bad deal that does not include border security with a physical barrier.”
Although Gaetz doesn’t believe that Trump will cave on wall funding, many believe that the Democratic leadership won’t cave, either. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday that he sees the shutdown lasting into the New Year when Nancy Pelosi takes over as Speaker of the House.