Apparently realizing that delaying tax refunds will thoroughly tick off millions of Americans, including "his people," President Trump today ordered the Internal Revenue Service to pay those refunds -- despite his border wall government shutdown.
The Washington Post reports that the decision "could prove extremely consequential" for taxpayers and the economy. Last year, The Post reported, between Jan. 29 and March 2, the IRS paid out more than $147 billion in tax refunds to 48.5 million households.
Clearly, the administration is feeling the heat from Trump's folly. Other steps are also being taken to reduce the impact of the shutdown on everyday Americans.
Rules have been changed to pay Coast Guard salaries, restart an IRS program to clear mortgage applications, reopen some national parks, use entrance fees to clean up trash and provide other services at national parks. In addition, according to The Post's article, "They are now considering whether they can find a way to prevent nutrition assistance payments from expiring at the end of this month, and a new legal ruling on that could come later this week."
Today, Trump said it's OK to build a wall made of steel instead of one made of concrete, acting as though that's some sort of concession. Hey Trump...a wall is a wall is a wall, and Democratic leaders are not buying it.
Tomorrow night the president will address the nation about border security and the humanitarian crisis that's occurred on the southern border due to his policies. Of course, he will blame Democrats for that. There's been talk -- spurred on by the president himself -- that he might declare a national emergency so he can use Department of Defense funds to build his wall, bypassing the need for action by Congress.
Such a trumped up "national emergency" most certainly would be challenged in the courts.
Trump's favorite person, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said yesterday on CBS that "The impression you get from the president is that he would like not only close government, build a wall, but also abolish Congress, so the only voice that mattered was his own."
She may have been being a bit facetious with that comment, but frankly, I don't think it's far from the truth.
Let's see what he says tomorrow night.