Donald Trump says that he will not use his Saturday afternoon “major announcement” on border security to declare a national emergency. So a national emergency declaration is still completely on the table. But, on day 28 of the shutdown that Trump engineered because he was afraid Anne Coulter didn’t like him anymore, it’s mostly likely that his announcement about his economy-sinking national snit will contain both a carrot and a stick.
The “carrot” will be the deal that Trump has come up with, not by talking to Democrats, but in private consultation with Steve Miller and Jared Kushner. Really. So expect this to be one rooty, bitter, and generally rotten carrot. The stick will likely be a threat to declare a national emergency if you don’t like his carrot.
It’s unclear just how much time during the Trump announcement will be spent smirking about his cutting off flights for Congress, or smirking about forcing people to work without pay, or smirking about the fallout from yesterday’s Buzzfeed article. However, expect smirking, because following the statement from the special counsel’s office on Friday afternoon, and a thousand minutes of coverage of that Air Force bus full of Representatives on Fox News, Trump is clearly feeling extra smug.
Since this appears to be an offer coming from Trump without actual Democratic input, it’s likely that any “deal” will include 110 percent of what Trump has already demanded. And in exchange, he’ll offer something that he thinks Democratic leaders will like. Something like building the wall out of transparent aluminum. It could be kind of bizarrely interesting to see what Trump believes he has that sounds, to him, like a reasonable offer. On the other hand, he could pull a Michael. After all, the Corleones were probably great friends of Trump.
Trump will be making his announcement at 3 PM ET from the White House.
Axois is indicating that Trump may actually offer to sign the BRIDGE Act in exchange for a commitment for his wall funding. If so, that would move the bar much closer to a broader immigration solution. The BRIDGE Act includes provisions that both extend (temporary) protection to those covered under DACA and deals (temporarily) with immigrants covered under Temporary Protected Status. In short, Trump’s offer might be something that genuinely looks like a step toward a deal. But definitely not something that Democrats would immediately accept. Stay tuned.