President Donald Trump is ordering a shutdown for the rest of the week, as the government shuts down for the third time in six weeks.
Trump ordered the shutdown Thursday to give him a chance to address the nation’s problems and to give lawmakers more time to pass legislation.
In a tweet, he called the shutdown “a necessary tool to make our country stronger and more secure.”
But it’s unclear what that means for other parts of the government.
Trump ordered the government to shut down in response to a growing threat from North Korea and other countries to threaten the United States with a nuclear strike, which Trump said would “be a total disaster for our country and its people.”
The government has been operating under the assumption that North Korea would be deterred from pursuing nuclear weapons, but the country has not responded.
North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles and launching missiles, as well as nuclear tests, at an unprecedented pace.
A recent report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank, estimated that North Korean military leaders have tested about 200 intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2016.
Trump and congressional Republicans are trying to use that threat to pressure the country to give up its nuclear weapons program.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to suspend the government, with some Democrats voting to stay in place and others voting to end the shutdown.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called the government shutdown a “deadlock,” but House Democrats and many Republicans voted to extend the shutdown, while Republicans opposed the move.
In a tweet Thursday morning, Ryan called Trump’s shutdown a necessary tool for making our country strong and more securitized.
The President should stop wasting our time and energy on this deadlock and return to Congress to pass real, bipartisan solutions to our problems.
The House voted to stay.
House Democrats have agreed to extend this shutdown for as long as necessary.
We are committed to passing a bill that makes America safe again and provides real relief to hardworking families and small businesses.
The shutdown ends at 12:01 a.m.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, tweeted Friday that the shutdown was a “fatal mistake” that “will cause more damage to our economy than we know what to do with.”
Trump’s tweets Thursday and Friday made clear that he is not satisfied with a temporary shutdown.
“This is a mistake,” he tweeted Thursday.
“We have to get on with the business of governing.”
Trump tweeted Friday: “The President’s failure to follow through on his campaign promises has cost American families millions of dollars.
The American people must be reminded again that they have the power to stop this government shutdown.”
Congress is not going to be able to reopen the government until the government comes back online again.
So, what happens now?
On Friday, House Democrats will vote to extend a shutdown.
They will then have 48 hours to vote again to approve the extension.
Then, if they fail to approve it by then, it will go into effect immediately.
If that doesn’t happen, the government would be shut down for two more weeks.
House Republicans will not be able vote again on a short-term extension.
The deadline for a short term extension is Wednesday.
The House will also have to vote on a long-term, bipartisan solution.
This is where things get tricky for Trump and his Republicans.
The Senate has already passed legislation that would give Congress a two-year window to pass a long term deal to address a wide array of issues, including the opioid crisis and the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
Republicans would likely oppose the Senate’s proposal, but they have no real leverage to block it.
What about Democrats?
The Democratic leadership is trying to salvage a deal.
The Congressional Black Caucus is set to meet Thursday night with House Democrats to discuss how to work together on a solution to the nation of crisis.
The two sides will also meet on Friday morning to discuss the possible extension of the shutdown for two weeks.
Democrats have said they would support a longer term deal if the House passes it.
The Democrats’ push to find bipartisan support has been a success so far, but it may be too late to reverse the GOP’s decision to keep the government shut down.
It may be time for Congress to give Trump a chance.
Republicans have not offered much in the way of a plan to fix the country, and they are likely to continue to try to score political points by attacking Democrats and promising to cut spending.
The last thing they want is a repeat of the political disaster that unfolded under former President Barack Obama, when the House refused to pass his $1.5 trillion stimulus package.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter at: @MikeSnider