Political News

Source: WH considering Trump tweet could signal government is open

Posted January 18, 2018 7:39 p.m. EST

— White House staffers are mulling the idea President Donald Trump could use Twitter Friday night to signal that the federal government will not close down, a senior administration official told CNN.

The idea is that if the Senate passes the continuing resolution to keep the government open Friday, the President could then tweet that he will sign the continuing resolution. That would be an indication the government is open, even if he signs the actual bill later on.

The President is expected to be in his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago this weekend, and Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of his inauguration.

The White House has been communicating with federal agencies to ensure plans are in place for dealing with a potential shutdown, with the message that agencies should do whatever they can "to minimize the impact on the general public" of a shutdown, the official said.

For example, officials are making it clear to the National Park Service that it should keep parks and monuments open that require minimal staffing. The official cited the World War II Memorial in Washington as an example of what should remain open.

During a government shutdown, the National Park Service typically closes federal parks and monuments until the lapse in funding ends. The closure of the WWII Memorial during the shutdown in 2013 became a flashpoint for outrage around the budget impasse and its effects.

The official also made the case that a "weekend lapse is a minimally impactful event," noting that many federal employees typically have weekends off.

Should Congress fail to pass a funding agreement, the federal government is due to shut down on Friday at midnight. If Congress passes a continuing resolution very late Friday night, the official argued that "no lapse would actually occur" and that Trump would sign it sometime over the weekend with minimal disruption.