Senator Crapo sees partisan battles upending full government funding package

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) is disappointed that Congress is failing to fully fund the government for 2019 as it prepares to pass a short-term, status quo funding package that only gets them through this coming January.

“Those partisan battles are still there and we still need to find a way to get past them,” said Crapo.

Crapo says he was hoping to have a complete appropriations package done by now rather than leave that process to the new Congress.

“In this case it came down, literally, to one issue and that’s border enforcement,” said Crapo.

Crapo says Republicans may have missed their chance to push some of their more polarizing priorities, like funding a border wall. Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in a few weeks after picking up a majority during midterm elections.

“It’s now been pulled apart because of I think we’ll see a new development in the House,” said Crapo.

President Trump said last week he’d be proud to shutdown the government over border wall funding. A political expert tells us that gave immediate victory to Democrats in the funding debate.

“Not only was his kind of ‘go big moment’ on tape, but it also allowed the Democrats to say, ‘Look, we’re not the ones being recalcitrant here. The president is,’” said Dr. Lara Brown, director of the George Washington University School of Political Management.

Brown says that unwillingness to make a deal and just a few days until the current Congress closes up shop has Republicans forced into concession mode. Brown says the president’s demands for a wall are based on a misguided belief that it’s the number one concern of Americans.

“It is purely the president’s belief that his political base will walk away from him if he walks away from that priority. And while that may be true, his base is not the whole country,” said Brown.

Congress and the president have until midnight Friday to reach a funding deal, or parts of the government will shut down.