The government is ready to shut down on Friday night at midnight, but President Donald Trump seems completely unbothered.
In fact, he’s so indifferent about the possibility that he’s headed to his usual weekend stay at his Mar-a-lago resort on Friday at 4:00 p.m., per the White House itinerary posted on Thursday night.
While there, he is expected to attend a $100,000-per-couple gala that will raise money for the Republican National Committee and his 2020 reelection campaign. As he’s wining and dining, Congress still only has hours to get the government funded, and they don’t know what the president wants out of a deal.
According to CNN sources, President Trump later decided not to go to Mar-a-Lago in light of the impending shutdown. A White House spokeswoman, however, denied that the planned trip to Florida had been canceled, saying no decisions about his travel beyond Friday have yet been made.
Republicans are struggling to find a partnership with the president, and that’s when he’s actually physically in Washington.
“We don’t have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with,” Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday morning. “This has turned into an s-show for no good reason and the only way out of this thing is to grow up a little bit — and I think that’s going to happen.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also lamented that Republicans don’t exactly know whether Trump will sign a bill they put in front of him, saying, “On the Republican side we’re interested in what his views are, and those have not been made fully apparent yet.”
The problem is entirely one of the president’s making, since he announced the end of the DACA program which puts hundreds of thousands of Dreamers at risk of deportation. Despite saying that he wanted a compromise, Trump rejected a bill that was presented to him last week where he also referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.”
Leading the country remotely
While Trump may not be physically around to sign a bill into law to keep the government running, according to CNN, Trump officials think they might be able to use Twitter to keep things going.
Apparently, the president could just tweet out a promise to sign the government funding bill once he returns, and that will be enough assurance to keep things going.
Or, as New York Magazine put it, “The president will just send a tweet announcing that everything’s cool now.”
Even in our modern age, remote governing isn’t the same as actually working with your Cabinet in person, particularly when it concerns decisions that will impact every American. Heading to his personal resort in the middle of a crisis is not a good move, no matter how you spin it.