The post-shutdown prospects for the Russian asset in the White House getting his border wall are "brutal." By anyone's accounting but his own, Donald Trump was owned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and no one is really expecting anything different out of the negotiations during this three-week reprieve.
Democratic opposition to $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall is immovable. That’s not going to change. "Have I not been clear on a wall? I’ve been very clear on the wall," Pelosi reminded reporters after Trump capitulated Friday. That Trump folded to that opposition sure as hell isn't going to lessen that resolve, and everybody seems to realize that but Trump. "There's a chance we"re in the same soup in three weeks," said Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota after Trump's capitulation. Why, yes, there is—unless Senate Republicans like you, Sen. Cramer, reject him.
Even Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is on board with demanding something very big in return for Trump's border security: a path to citizenship for immigrants previously protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). "Can't those people deserve 10 years—it's a long pathway—a 10-year pathway [to citizenship]? That would really help an awful lot in moving forward," he said on Face the Nation Sunday. That's the bottom line for Democrats going into these negotiations: Any more funding for border security than what was already agreed to in last year's spending bill—$1.6 billion—has to come with that agreement.
Two of the bipartisan team of senators who came up with that $1.6 billion for fencing, Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, are on the conference committee, and that's the amount approved in committee last year by Senate appropriators. That suggests that's all Trump is going to get—unless he coughs up a path to citizenship for Dreamers, at least.
And it's not going to be for a wall.