- - Thursday, December 20, 2018

President Trump and House Republicans are facing their own “Read my lips” moment – and how they respond may well determine whether or not the President is reelected and House Republicans can regain the majority in the 2020 elections. 

Last night, the Senate voted by unanimous consent to send to the House a stopgap funding bill that would keep portions of the federal government open for another seven weeks. The bill contains no funding for construction of a border wall, and represents Senate Republicans’ capitulation on President Trump’s most famous campaign promise.

Make no mistake: This bill – essentially written by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker-To-Be Nancy Pelosi – is the first Democrat attack of the 2020 campaign.

Schumer and Pelosi were both in Congress back in 1990, when President George H.W. Bush broke the fabled promise he had made in accepting the GOP nomination for President two years earlier.

Schumer and Pelosi are well aware of how that broken promise played politically when Bush ran for reelection two years later.

Schumer and Pelosi are hoping they can block wall funding and morph candidate Trump’s pledge into President Trump’s broken promise, and ride it to victory in 2020.

That has implications for House Republicans. They cannot fool themselves into thinking their own political futures are not on the line. Their fate in 2020 is tied to Trump’s – does anyone believe House Republicans can recapture the majority while their candidate for president is losing his reelection?

Consequently, Trump and House Republicans should act together on the spending bill.

House Republicans should start by amending the bill to include $5 billion in wall funding, and then send it back to the Senate. Put the onus on Schumer to actually demonstrate with the votes of his caucus that he can block the funding bill.

Let the world see that it is Senate Democrats who refuse to allow debate on a funding bill that includes $5 billion for construction of a wall.

Let’s be clear about a key point – Chuck Schumer and his Senate Democrat allies don’t oppose funding construction of a border wall.

How do I know? Because they voted twice in recent years to fund construction of a border wall.

In 2006, Schumer voted for the Secure Fence Act, which authorized construction of a physical barrier on the border. So, by the way, did Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Dianne Feinstein, among others. That bill passed the Senate with 80 votes.

In 2013, Schumer voted for the so-called “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill, which also contained funding for construction of a wall. That bill passed the Senate with 68 votes.

So Schumer does not oppose funding construction of a border wall. He opposes funding construction of President Trump’s border wall. And so does Pelosi.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell apparently thinks the time for a fight over border wall funding is February, when his seven-week stopgap bill expires.

How in the world he can say that with a straight face is beyond me. At that point, Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker, Democrats will have the majority in the House, and no bill containing border wall funding will move through the House.

The time for this fight is now, not seven weeks from now.

If House Republicans fail to amend the bill to include an additional $5 billion for border wall funding, then President Trump should veto the bill.

He should then use all the communications tools at his disposal – including a prime-time television address to the nation from the Oval Office, a talk radio blitz that includes appearances with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Mike Gallagher, Michael Savage, and Sirius/XM radio’s Patriot channel, among others, along with judicious use of his Twitter feed and his campaign’s data trove – to explain to the nation what is at stake and rally his supporters to pressure their Members of Congress.

President Trump was elected because he convinced tens of millions of voters that he was different, that he was determined to “drain the swamp,” that he, and he alone, could be counted on to end “business as usual” in Washington.

House Republicans want to win back the majority in 2020, and have a decent shot at doing it – but their fate is tied to the President.

Border wall funding is the fight they both need – and need to win.

Together, they can force the issue. Here’s hoping they take a stand.

• Jenny Beth Martin is Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.

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