Worst Santa.
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Merry Christmas! The President is threatening to shut down the government over funding for his border wall, or rather his row of "artistically designed steel slats," or whatever he's calling his compensatory bit of expensive and useless infrastructure today.

Facing heat from a bunch of xenophobic freaks in the Freedom Caucus, on Thursday Trump told outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan he won't sign the short-term funding bill passed by the Senate late last night until he gets his $5 billion for more wall. The resolution would have kept the government open through Feb. 8, avoiding a Yuletide closure of nine federal agencies.

According to Politico, Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan are working on a bill that would include the $5 billion for the wall and possibly some disaster funding to sweeten the deal for Democrats, which incoming House Speaker Nanci Pelosi says she's open to, though she called any amount of additional wall funding "a non-starter." If no Democrats support the bill—which, it sounds like they won't—Republicans will have an extra hard time passing it due to the number of absences of members who lost their races in the midterms and the ones who just aren't in town anymore. And even if some new bill does pass, the Senate could just reject that bill and then hahaha Trump still shuts down the government.

For whom is this embarrassing?

• Paul Ryan. He's ending his long career of failing up by failing to prevent a shutdown.

• Trump. He lost this fight the moment Pelosi pre-branded this tantrum as "the Trump shutdown" in last week's "tinkle contest" outside the Oval Office. Now we just have to watch him Tweet through it and generally bloviate until he finds some way to lie himself into a victory.

• Republicans. They have had control of all three branches of government for two years, and they still were unable to unify behind their President's signature talking point. Incredible.

For whom does this suck?

• Government workers. According to The New York Times, over 400,000 "essential" workers will be forced to work without pay, including border patrol agents. Another 400,000 government workers will be furloughed.

• Campers. National Parks will shutter until Congress passes a continuing resolution. National museums will also close.

• Us. During shutdowns, the government loses millions of dollars a day in revenue from museums, parks, passport fees, etc. The economy slows. And we lose a lot of money paying people to simply complete the bureaucratic task of shutting down and restarting the government when they would otherwise, you know, be running the government. When the government shut down in 2013, we lost an estimated $2 billion in revenue and $24 billion in "economic output."

How will this end?

It seems like one of three things can happen. 1: The government will shut down Friday because Trump vetoes the bill. 2. Trump will just lie and randomly describe some other funds in the bill as more money for "the wall," declare victory, and then avoid a shutdown at the last minute. 3. Trump will veto the bill and then Congress will override that veto to keep the government open. In the words of Matt Fuller at HuffPost, that last outcome is "not impossible." I'm betting on #2, though.


The House passed a bill with nearly $6 billion for wall funding and a bunch of money for disaster relief. It needs 60 votes in the Senate to pass, and it won't get those votes. Once it doesn't, the House will have to decide if it wants to send through a continuing resolution with no wall funding, which Trump says he won't sign.