Hot Take of the Day: Cohen, Manafort Cases Raise the Odds of a Government Shutdown

Hot Take of the Day: Cohen, Manafort Cases Raise the Odds of a Government Shutdown

Aaron Bernstein

Budget expert Stan Collender writes that the guilty plea by President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and conviction of the former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, will have some notable repercussions on Capitol Hill. “Republican leaders of the House now really have to demonstrate to donors and voters (but especially the donors) that, no matter what’s happening with Trump, they’ll be much better off with a GOP majority,” Collender writes. That means:

A stronger push for more tax cuts. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) is working on another round of tax cuts and has said he expects the House to vote on the package in September. While the full package, including the extension of individual tax cuts set to expire in 2025, is unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, Collender suggests that “Cohen and Manafort make it even more likely that the House will debate and pass another tax cut before the election.”

Higher odds of a government shutdown. Similarly, Collender says that Tuesday’s legal news makes it more likely that Trump will push for full funding for his border wall with Mexico — and shut down the government when he doesn’t get it. “He now really needs to shift the narrative away from his legal and political problems to something where he is leading the discussion, grabbing the headlines and reminding his base why, in spite of everything else, it really likes him,” Collender says. “Immigration is that issue.”