>> As Congress scrambles to avoid a budget stand-off, President Trump is flirting with chaos once again, saying he may shut the government down on purpose.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where something unusual is happening. Republicans and Democrats working together to finalize spending for the coming fiscal year.
Both sides eager to avoid a government shutdown before the November congressional elections. But Trump is pulling in the opposite direction. He's angling for a showdown over his signature issue, the border wall. Both the House and the Senate this week are expected to approve a spending bill for veterans' care, flood control, and military housing.
Also working on major bills to cover highways, defense, and much of the rest of the government. They need to get them signed into law before funding runs out at the end of the month. That would be the best showing by Congress in more than a decade, avoiding the dysfunction that has tied the government in knots most years.
Helping Republicans make the case to voters that they should retain control of Capitol Hill. They'll need Trump to sign these bills into law, and it's not clear whether he will do so. Trump wants $5 billion for his border wall with Mexico. Lawmakers are almost certain to give him far less than that.
In recent days, Trump has been threatening a shut down over this issue. The President told reporters on Friday that he sees a shut down as good political move, even as he acknowledged that Republican leaders have been urging him not to do it. At this point, Trump's shutdown talk is almost certainly strategic, a negotiating tactic to shake loose more money.
If he doesn't get that, he's gonna have a decision to make, whether to accept defeat and move on or throw the government into chaos just weeks before the November elections.