Donald Trump on Tuesday said the US needs a “a good ‘shutdown’ in September”, in remarks that come on the heels of the president’s first bi-partisan Congressional win that averted exactly that situation from coming to fruition sooner.
The comments that came in a mid-morning Twitter message seemed to portray Mr Trump’s frustration with the Senate “cloture” rules that require three-fifths of Senators — a so-called “supermajority” — to end debate and move to a vote on a piece of legislation.
“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!”, Mr Trump said.
Cloture represents a critical hurdle of the Trump administration, since Republicans control a simple majority, not a supermajority in the Senate.
The timing of Mr Trump’s remarks may raise eyebrows on Capitol Hill considering the businessman turned politician only days ago sealed his first Congressional win, when lawmakers struck a bi-partisan agreement to stave off a government shutdown until September.
Both parties have also criticised each other in recent years for politicising the issue, given that government shutdowns have in the past caused actual damage to the economy, and disrupt the lives of federal employees and their families.