Published February 11, 2019
The U.S. has just completed the longest government shutdown in its history. The shutdown came to an end when President Trump backed down from his demand that the government fund his oft promised wall on the southern border of the U.S.
Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” was to be paid for by Mexico. When that didn’t happen, he demanded that the U.S. government pay for the wall. The price tag is estimated at $5.7 billion. When the House of Representatives refused the funding, the president allowed “non-essential” government services not to be funded – an act that he said he was “proud to own.”
After the economy teetered on the brink, the shutdown ended. Government services resumed. Employees, who had not been paid for a month, are in the process of catching up on the work not done during the stoppage. Among the many consequences, the Federal Reserve had to make interest rate decisions at its January meeting without full details of the economy. The Fed wisely decided not to change rates.
Now negotiations are going on within the government as to whether or not the government will pay for the wall. Three weeks were allocated to make that decision. President Trump, who advertised himself as a champion dealmaker, has so far found a deal elusive. He now says that he does not believe current negotiations will yield a solution that he can accept. Since he is apparently playing no role in the negotiations, it is likely that he will not approve any proposal. The question then arises: What will happen next? The president’s State of the Union speech provided no answers.
The fallout from this recent shutdown […]