Continetti: The Longer the Government Shutdown Drags on, the More Leverage Trump Has

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Wednesday that President Donald Trump will gain more leverage over congressional Democrats as the ongoing partial government shutdown continues.

Continetti appeared on Fox News' "Special Report" to discuss the impasse between President Donald Trump and Democrats to reach a deal on a spending bill to end the shutdown, which began more than two weeks ago. Trump wants $5 billion in appropriations to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but Democrats have refused to give any money for a border wall. Continetti noted that, while Trump and Republicans have continued to emphasize the need for border security, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) have shifted their focus from immigration to government workers who are not receiving paychecks because of the shutdown.

"They [Democrats] may be slightly cynically hoping to miss that first paycheck," Continetti said. "I wonder, though, if it gets to a second paycheck, we already see people beginning to blame the Democrats or assign them some responsibility for the shutdown. More people assign President Trump responsibility, but that number assigning the Democrats responsibility is rising. That will continue to rise as the shutdown goes on."

Continetti also observed that the shutdown prevents Pelosi from advancing other legislation backed by Democrats.

"Here's Nancy Pelosi's restoration as speaker of the House, and she is going to spend, what, her first month dealing with this and not all of that liberal wish list that she had wanted to pass legislation on and shift the debate in terms of the liberal agenda?" Continetti said. "So I continue to believe the longer this drags on, the more leverage President Trump has."