Sen. John Kennedy: 'I Think We're Going to Have a Shutdown'

By Susan Jones | December 12, 2018 | 9:06am EST
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) (Photo By Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

( - Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said he doesn't think Tuesday's contentious meeting at the White House was a "spectacle," he doesn’t think President Trump was bluffing, and he expects the government to partially shut down on Dec. 21.

President Trump on Tuesday allowed television cameras into the Oval Office as he stood fast on his demand that Congress give him $5 billion for a border wall. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remained stuck on "no," prompting Trump to say he'll allow a partial government shutdown at the end of next week.


"I appreciated the transparency," Kennedy told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday:

I've been in meetings like that before. That meeting was pretty tame compared to some of the lively discussions we have. That would be the first point.

Second point is, look, I happen to think that walls work. I have seen them work in America, in Israel, Bulgaria, Malaysia. But I don't think that's the issue here. I think the issue here is -- well, let me put it another way. I think we're going to have a shutdown. I do, and I think we're going to have a shutdown for two reasons.

Number one, president trump does not looked to me like he was bluffing or is bluffing. And number two, I don't think (Rep.) Pelosi is going to agree to anything because she's worried about her speakership.

Kennedy said he "absolutely" is not happy about the prospect of a partial government shutdown: "I think the American people look to us up here to try to make things work."

As for who gets blamed, Kennedy opined that "it's a pox on all our houses."

I don't know politically who's going to win or lose this. I do know that too many people are preoccupied with the politics of it. We ought to try to figure a way out of this.

I'm just saying, based on what I'm seeing, and I could be wrong and I hope I am because a government shutdown would not serve the American people well, I don't think President Trump is bluffing, and I don't think speaker Pelosi is going to give an inch because she wants to be Speaker.

And If I have learned anything up here, I hate to say it, but most people in Washington care about their jobs first.

At Tuesday’s meeting, President Trump told Schumer, "I am proud to shut down the government for border security because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country.

"So I will take the mantle," Trump said. "I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I'm going to shut it down for border security."

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