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Trump has said that he is ready for the shutdown to go on for years. Why does he say this as if he has any say in the matter? I thought Congress could override any veto and pass a bill without the President's approval?

And considering the Dems took over the House, isn't that exactly what is going to happen now?

marked as duplicate by Philipp Jan 4 at 20:18

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    I'm assuming someone left a -1 because they feel that the question shows a lack of research, given that the fact the senate wont pass the Bill that's just passed the House has been pretty much the top political story for the last day. However it is more helpful if you tell people why you're leaving DownVotes. – Jontia Jan 4 at 20:16
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    I've downvoted this question because of the lack of understanding, or demonstrated research into, how the Legislature passes bills. – Drunk Cynic Jan 4 at 20:21
  • I don't think this is really a duplicate of the other question. – CrackpotCrocodile Jan 4 at 20:23
  • @CrackpotCrocodile If it isn't a duplicate, than it should be closed as off-topic for asking the SE to speculate on the intentions and mental workings of the elected official. – Drunk Cynic Jan 4 at 20:27
  • Not necessarily. It's asking if the President really has that power (to which the answer is complicated), and why might they say that. – CrackpotCrocodile Jan 4 at 20:29

Trump has said that he is ready for the shutdown to go on for years. Why does he say this as if he has any say in the matter? I thought Congress could override any veto and pass a bill without the President's approval?

He does have a little say in the issue. If he vetos a bill then the House and the Senate would have to override the veto, which requires a 2/3 majority in each house.

He can also ask his allies in Congress for help.

And considering the Dems took over the House, isn't that exactly what is going to happen now?

One would think, given that the Senate already passed a spending bill without funding for Trump's wall before the new Congress, however it seems Senate Republicans are unwilling to do that again now.

House Democrats have already brought a bill without funding for Trump's wall to vote, which mirrored the bill the last Senate passed 100-0. That bill has passed the House of Representatives, however Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won't bring it to a vote without the President's approval, claiming it wouldn't pass anyway. It's tough to say if it would pass the Senate if a vote were held now, but right now Republicans are blocking a vote on it.

So it's true that the President alone can't keep the government shutdown indefinitely. Just as long as his willing-subordinates enable him.

So you might consider this a questionable negotiation tactic.


P.S. Note: The statements of Republicans are not "speculative conjecture" as some comments have tried to claim.

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    Trump doesn't have subordinates in the Legislature, which is a co-equal branch of government. The rest of the answer boils down to speculative conjecture. – Drunk Cynic Jan 4 at 20:26
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    @DrunkCynic The branch of government may not be subordinate, but individuals may choose to be. Are people's own statements "speculative conjecture" now? – CrackpotCrocodile Jan 4 at 20:27

From the US Constitution, Art. I sec. 7

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law...If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

The Constitution makes clear that the president clearly "has a say in the matter." The president can choose to veto, sign or do nothing. The president can cause essentially three outcomes: enact the law (by signing the bill or doing nothing for ten days while Congress is in session); veto the bill (by sending it back to Congress, subject to a potential override); or "pocket veto" the bill (by doing nothing for ten days while Congress is not in session, subject to no override). Simply because presidents do not always have the last word does not minimize their power in this situation.

Let's look at the likelihood of potential outcomes. First, we can examine the so-called pocket veto. Because of issues arising from the recess appointments clause, Congress effectively has not adjourned since 2007 by opening a daily session at least once every three days, even if such a session is only "pro forma." Although this is intended to prevent "radical" recess appointments, it also in practice prevents pocket vetos. The second option is that the president enacts the law, in which case nothing more happens. The final option is a veto and then attempted override.

Today, the House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats with a 235/434 majority (the outcome of one seat is currently disputed), or ~54% of the House. In the Senate, the Republicans have a 53/100 seat majority, or 53% of the Senate. The best case for Congress to override a veto would involve 55 House Republicans (28% of the House Republican caucus) and 20 Senate Republicans (38% of the Senate Republican conference) to defect. Further, the Senate rules would make it very unlikely for a bill to come to a vote if the Senate Republican leadership (Sen. McConnell and some others) are opposed to it.

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