Trump, GOP Seek To Shift Blame For Shutdown To Pelosi

White House officials and congressional Republicans are seeking to blame the partial government shutdown on Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as the standoff over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border appears likely to extend into the new year.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in an interview Friday said Pelosi can’t move on the wall because of the Jan. 3 floor vote for House Speaker, repeating an argument first made by President Trump in an Oval Office meeting with Democrats.

The White House is also seeking to portray a split between Pelosi and Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who leads Democrats in the Senate.

GOP strategists say there is value in the White House trying to exploit potential divisions in the House Democratic Caucus that could cause issues for Pelosi and Schumer.

“What Trump is ultimately trying to do is paint the narrative that in leadership Pelosi will have to fight her own Democratic House caucus more than Republicans,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “In other words, the chaos in government is being spearheaded by Democrats not Trump.”

Early in the process of negotiating border security funding, Schumer and Pelosi were in somewhat different places. Schumer had floated advancing a Senate-committee passed bill that included $1.6 billion for fencing, while Pelosi said that plan was unacceptable. 

Read more from Naomi Jagoda at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy