Trump Threatens to Shut Down Government if Wall Not Approved: 5 Possibilities

In what may be his biggest bluff to date, Trump threatens to shut down the government.


  1. Democrats give Trump the Wall: Trump a clear winner, but democrats will do no such thing. Republicans will have to do this by themselves.
  2. Democrats refuse to give Trump the Wall and Trump backs down: Trump would go on a Tweet storm rampage and there would not necessarily be a clear winner.
  3. Democrats refuse to give Trump the Wall and Trump shuts down the government. Trump and Republicans would get the blame. Republicans would be clear losers.
  4. Republicans alone give Trump his wall. Unlikely, there are not enough Senate votes.
  5. Other legislation hits Trump's desk and he signs it. This one is possible, but we have to see the legislation and backlash to decide a winner, if any.

Extra Wall Chance

Option 4 is a wall chance not requiring Republicans, but that could have been accomplished already. Why wasn't it?

This is why: On February 17, The Hill reported 14 GOP Senators Voted Against Trump’s Immigration Framework.

The problem for Trump is that the Republican Senate itself is very divided.

Ted Cruz (Texas) wants no amnesty while Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) wants more. Getting all the Republicans in the Senate to agree to anything will be very difficult.

Most Likely Outcome

The most likely outcome is door number 2. It is the least risky for the Republicans. They will get to howl about security for weeks.

The second most likely alternative is door number five. Republicans alone pass some sort of legislation, Trump signs it and declares victory. That option is far riskier than door number two, and it is not clear if the Senate can accommodate even that.

This whole thing is likely a purposeful bluff that Trump intended from the outset to back away from, just so he can howl. Whether or not such an outcome is good or bad for the Republicans is unknown.

Meanwhile, the market may not take too kindly to this threat.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (21)
No. 1-11

Aren't we all beyond giving a f@(& what Trump says anymore?


Option 6, no wall funding, Trump unilaterally takes money from some other part of the budget like DoD and redirects it to the wall.


Why is "the market" concerned? Other than as long as we have amnesty, we can do it for securities fraud?


This has been the plan since the last omnibus Trump "caved" on. Put Democrats on the spot over illegal immigration right before the mid-term elections. This is a losing issue for Democrats and they know it, which explains the manufactured hysteria last month over the family separations.


Trump has made life more interesting - may you live in interesting times.