Indiana Sen. Mike Braun thinks that the government shutdown has “weeks to go, not months,” because of the incentives for Republicans and Democrats to compromise. Braun, the Republican who defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in the November midterm election, spoke with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast.
“It’s going to get a lot more excruciating for each side to persist in a point of view that doesn’t cure it,” Braun said of the ongoing shutdown, which is on track to be the longest shutdown in American history if it continues through Saturday. President Trump is unwilling to sign any funding bills without money for a border wall, and congressional Democrats refuse to provide Mr. Trump’s requested $5.7 billion for the wall.
“I’m thinking we’ve got weeks to go, not months…in that surely we will come together, give minimum border security to the president and to those of us who believe it needs to be done, and we get the government back going and get talking on some of the other issues,” Braun said. Mr. Trump said in December that he was willing to allow the shutdown to continue for months or even years, or, as Mr. Trump said Wednesday, “Whatever it takes,” in reference to the duration.
Braun is a supporter of Mr. Trump who often rallied with the president before the 2018 election. Braun said that he was willing to negotiate below the $5.7 billion for the wall at first, but that more funds for border security would be needed later.
“I think that that is such a small figure compared to the $25 billion that everybody was in on and agreeing here a few years ago,” Braun said. “I’m hoping we stick as close to the $5.7 (billion) as we can.”
Braun also did not address Mr. Trump’s capacity to mislead and dissemble when giving public statements.
“Everybody has a style in terms of how they articulate and issue, and he uses the methodology that works for him,” Braun said. “I’ve never begrudged that because I was so happy that we were shaking the system.”
Braun also talked about the bill he is co-sponsoring with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to deny members of Congress pay if they do not reach a timely budget agreement. He noted how federal workers were currently not receiving paychecks due to Congress and Mr. Trump’s failure to fund portions of the government.
“Anything that comes along with not getting paid you should feel the consequences,” Braun said.