The President Tells Me It’s Money or Nothing

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RUSH: As I went to the break, Paul Ryan was outside the White House addressing members of the Drive-By Media. So I went to the break to find out what he was saying, and here’s the bottom line. The president told the Republicans he’s not gonna sign this. He told them flat-out he’s not going to sign it. He hasn’t vetoed it yet. He told them he’s not gonna sign it. So Ryan said (summarized), “The president’s very, very interested in border security,” (whispers) damn it, “and we in the House are going to go back and try to put together a bill that will feature border security the president will accept and then we’re gonna send that to the Senate — and we’re gonna find out in the Senate if they’re serious about border security.”

So I’m picking up this stuff on the fly. But as I understand it, they had the meeting, and the president told the Republican conference of leaders there, “I’m not signing this.” Now, it’s important to state that this is not a veto yet. He just told them, ’cause we’ve still got a couple of days to go on this. I think Friday. Maybe one day to go. Anyway, the president told ’em he’s not gonna sign this, that there’s nothing in it for border security and he’s not signing anything until there is something for border security.

Now, it’s assumed that that means some money for the wall. But we don’t know that, either. I want to caution everybody here that the House now is gonna go back and take this continuing resolution that funds the government through February 8th and they’re gonna put something in it that they’re gonna call “border security,” and we’ll see what this is. If it’s $5 billion or $3 billion or $7 billion, whatever? Okay, fine. If it’s a simple commitment, a verbal commitment that (impression), “We’re gonna get serious about this and come the next continuing resolution come February 8th and we will…”

If it’s that, then Trump had better not sign that. There has to be some serious appropriation. So, I mean, it’s time for applause. (clapping) Yes. This is a great, great first step. But it’s not a full-fledged veto. Not that we want a veto; don’t misunderstand. This is simply the president telling the Republicans, “I’m not signing this. There’s no border security in it.” So now the Republicans are gonna go back and put some border security in their version of the continuing resolution. We’ll know what that is soon enough.

Then when they finish doing that and they vote on it — and it will pass — they’ll send it over to The Turtle, Mitch McConnell in the Senate, and then they will deal with it. The Senate was very happy to have not a penny in this CR for border security. So it looks like the onus now is… It looks like it’s on the House, but it’s actually gonna be on the Senate, ’cause we have to assume the House is gonna put something in this. Meadows was dead serious about this. Ryan? I don’t know. But it’s still his House. He’s still speaker for a while. So that’s where we are. But it’s great news that the president refused to sign this.

Now we have to keep our eyes on what they come up with as border security.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay, folks, this is good. This is interesting. I just got a phone call. Well, I got an instant message. It’s the equivalent of you getting a phone call. That’s how people communicate with me, particularly during the program. It’s impossible to use the phone during the program. Anyway, I just said less than 10 minutes ago in my translation of what’s happened here, “The president told Republicans he’s not going to sign this. It’s not a veto yet, but he’s not gonna sign it until there’s border security in it.”

And I said, “Now we have to look out for what does ‘border security’ mean? Republicans are gonna go back to the House and they’re gonna rewrite. They’re gonna add something to the continuing resolution that passed the Senate and they’re gonna put something in there called ‘border security.’ We have to keep a sharp eye on what that is. If it’s not money to build a wall, if it’s not money to do something to shore up the border — if it’s just words, if it’s just a commitment to care about and seriously tackle border security — then it’s nothing.”

So I get this direct message: “You tell Rush that if there’s no money in this, it’s getting vetoed. If there’s no money — if there’s no money for a wall — I’m vetoing this, plain and simple.” This was the message that I just got, and I trust it and I believe it to be the case. By the way, it’s a legitimate question. I mean, the way the media reports this — and it was not just the media. It was Paul Ryan saying, “The president cares deeply about border security. So we’re gonna go back and we’re gonna get some border security in this thing.

“The president said he’s not gonna sign it unless there’s border security in it.” Well, we know how these guys work. We know what “border security” can be anything. If it’s not specifically a wall — and I guarantee you it’s what the media is gonna say. The media is gonna say, “Trump is continuing to fake you out! Trump is continuing to play with you. He’s going to sign this even if there’s no money for the wall. He just wants you to think that he’s playing hardball ’cause he thinks that will satisfy you.”

So be prepared to hear that and that the Republicans are winking and nodding that, “Yeah, this is all still a big game.” By the way, I want to point something out. I got a note from David Asman from the Fox Business Channel. You know, he’s one of their economics gurus over there. He pointed out to me, he said, “During the past three shutdowns, the stock market has improved during the shutdown. The last time, the stock market went up 3% during the duration of the shutdown.” Long-term — and, folks, this is me — a veto and a shutdown may actually help Trump here.

I think it would!

I think a veto would rally the American people. I think a shutdown would rally the American people. Getting the border wall would be preferable. Don’t misunderstand. I mean, getting the money for it would be the biggest win. But if that isn’t forthcoming, shut it down — and the stock market in the last three shutdowns has grown. It has gained value during the duration of the shutdown, and I’m glad David sent me this, because it’s true. I opened the program pointing out that since 1995, these government shutdowns have not meant anywhere near the end of the world for the Republican Party.

They have not been significantly harming. They have not been determinant in anything. It’s just media hype — and, of course, Republicans inside the Beltway are scared to death of media hype. Media hype, to them, is reality. But the fact of the matter is starting with the ’95 shutdown — which was the mother of shutdowns — Republican electoral successes after that were not significantly affected, if at all. Now the stock market during the last three shutdowns has gained value. The last one, it was up 3% during the duration. The point is it could be a win-win in so many ways if they don’t come up with the money for the wall.

If they come up with money for the wall, it’s a huge, big, big win.

But so can a veto be.

Okay. Time to get started on the phones. It’s Wendy in Atlanta, and I’m glad you called. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. Limbaugh. It’s an honor to talk to you and thank you for everything you do, and Merry Christmas.

RUSH: I appreciate that. Thank you very much.

CALLER: I’ll get right to my point. That’s great news you just gave us because I want the money. As usual, you are right. Meadows is right. Congress is a joke. Mitch McConnell? I can’t even. I just want to say, “Here I am!” I am middle America and I am so tired of being screwed, most especially by people in my own party. I voted for a fighter. I know Democrats who voted for Trump because of immigration. I think that Trump is holding a royal flush in his hand right now and he’s got to know that. I do not see a scenario where he loses on this. Do you?

RUSH: I’m with you a hundred percent. You know how…? I think you are demonstrating how fed up Republican voters are with this entire charade working every time!

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: “Government shutdown! Government shutdown!” Republicans cave. We’re tired of that affecting the way Republicans govern and what issues they push and don’t. Try something new! Challenge it!

CALLER: Exactly.

RUSH: Why should these people get away with intimidating us every time when there’s no evidence to suggest that government shutdowns actually end up harming Republicans? It may be exact opposite.

CALLER: Yes, sir. We’ve had it up to here. Shut it down! I’m so tired of it.

RUSH: Well, I hear you, and I appreciate your call very much, Wendy. I appreciate that you held on too. She has been holding out there for a long time. All right. Here, ladies and gentlemen. I just received clearance. The president has gotten word to me that he is either getting funding to the border or he’s shutting the whole thing down. This is what I was referring to. I was referring to this a few minutes ago, but I needed clearance on what about this I could say. It is the case that the president has gotten word to me that he’s either getting money for the border — for border security — or he’s shutting the whole thing down.

Now, this is important. again, because the way this was portrayed is Republicans say they gotta go back and get something for “border security.” But if it wasn’t money, if it wasn’t a commitment to get started on the wall — if it was just, you know, a side resolution that “we Republicans believe in border security, and we commit going forward to do everything we can to get it.” If that’s all it is, then it’s a nothing burger. And that’s when I heard, “No, no, no, no. The president wants you to know that it’s money or nothing,” and if it’s nothing, he shuts it down. So there you have it.

Here’s Karen in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Great to have you on the EIB Network hello.

CALLER: (talking to someone) I gotta go for just a minute! I’ll be right back. I’ll be right back. Hi, Rush!

RUSH: Hey. How are you? Do you need to do something? Go ahead.

CALLER: No, I’m good! It’s such an honor and a privilege to speak with you. I’m so glad I was on hold because I was just so revved up when I was talking with Snerdley. So I’ve calmed down a bit. But I want you to know I think the government has already shut down. I have tried to call Paul Ryan at four different numbers. Can’t get a hold of him! I’ve contacted my congressman, my senators, and expressed my frustration. We’ve had the House, we’ve had the Senate, we’ve had the White House. Nothing’s getting done. I’m just furious, Rush! We can’t lose this, and Paul Ryan is nowhere to be seen. I mean, he doesn’t even have his staff answering any of his lines. I called four different numbers!

RUSH: Did it ring and ring and ring and nobody picked up or what? Did you get a busy signal?

CALLER: It rang, and it went to an answering machine telling me that they were closed, that I should try this number, that number.

RUSH: (chuckles) They may well have already decided the term is over. The Senate signed the thing and sent it to the president and they thought it was over. Remember, they were prepared to do a press conference, their end-of-the-year press conference today, and it got canceled because Ryan said (summarized), “There’s too much conflict in the caucus, so we can’t do the press conference. We don’t have anything to say in unity here.” Then it leaked that there was gonna be a meeting between the Republican leaders in the House and the president at the White House, and that was at noon.

So I don’t know that Ryan’s avoiding anybody.

He just may have given the office staff off for the beginning of the Christmas holidays. Who knows? But your line about the government shutting down? This is a good point. It may have already shut down in places (chuckles) and nobody knows! Meaning it’s not affecting anybody other than you can’t get a phone call answered. But big whoop! It doesn’t gonna affect the rest of your day, it’s not gonna affect your holidays because somebody’s office in Washington doesn’t answer a phone call. This is the point. Anyway, I’m glad this all happened when you were on hold out there, Karen. Thank you very much for the call.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. So what the latest is, the House is going to add an amendment to the continuing resolution. The amendment will specify a $5 billion expenditure for the border wall. That’s what they’re gonna do. So that’s even better news! It’s not gonna be some verbal resolution or trick. They’re actually going to do it. They’re gonna try to pass it. This has to pass the House — and keep a sharp eye on this too. I’m not trying to drop cold water on everything. Every step of the way here has been fantastic, and it’s worth standing up and cheering.

But the House now has to go. The Republicans still run the House, and that’s why this has to be done now. To put this off until February is absurd. When Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her crowd run the place? It’s impossible then. So they’re gonna try to pass an amendment, a $5 billion amendment for border wall; then it will go to The Turtle. It will go to Mitch McConnell in the Senate and then they deal with it, and then if it doesn’t survive either place?

If this same bill with no $5 billion goes back to Trump, he’s on record as having said he’s gonna veto it. If it doesn’t have funding for a wall (i.e., border security), he’s going to veto it. Here’s a statement from Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “President Trump just met with Republican members of the House. We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security, and that includes a wall.” Now to the audio sound bites. Paul Ryan. This was outside the White House after the meeting with the president…

RYAN: We just had a very long, productive meeting with the president. Uh, the president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening, uhh, because of his legitimate concerns for border security. So what we’re gonna do is go back to the House and work with our members. We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border. We have very serious concerns about securing our border. So the president said he will not sign this bill. So we’re gonna go back and work on adding border security to this, also keeping the government open because we do want to see an agreement.

RUSH: Now, let me remind you and add one more thing to this. The president got word to me 20 minutes ago that if it comes back to him without money — if whatever happens in the House and Senate comes back to him with no allocation of $5 billion for the wall — that he’s gonna veto it. So this is a… I don’t know if you call this a 180 for Paul Ryan, but my take on it is he wasn’t particularly positive or upbeat about a wall. But after the meeting with the president, all of a sudden border security has become very important.

I’m not meaning to be critical of Speaker Ryan. I’m just chronicling things for you as I see them and digest them and then analyze them. (summarized) “We had one productive meeting. The president informed us he won’t sign the bill that came over from the Senate because of his concerns for border security. So what we’re gonna do is go back to the House, work with our members. We want the government open, but we want to see an agreement that protects the border.”

(whispers) But you didn’t yesterday.

Sorry. I don’t mean to be… I’m not trying to cloud things here. This is just how I react to things. If you were sitting next to me watching the news, this is what I would be saying to you. Another sound bite. It’s all good. Don’t misunderstand. This is Jackie Speier. She is on CNN with Brianna Keillor. She’s a Democratic congresswoman from California, and Keillor asks her about Ryan’s remarks. The question: “The president is rejecting the bill from the Senate. He wants more money for the border wall. Where does that leave things with this shutdown about to begin?”

SPEIER: He is really all about, uhh, an audience of one, and that’s Fox News — and when he started getting some criticism about not having any funding for the wall is when he changed his mind. I’m sure the senators had conveyed to him what they were passing, and he was okay with it. The president also is planning on leaving for 16 days in Mar-a-Lago tomorrow. So I don’t know if he’s suggesting that we all come down to Mar-a-Lago to negotiate this on the golf course, but he’s all wrong on this.

RUSH: Well, why? What’s wrong with going to Mar-a-Lago? I don’t know if he would even want you there but… By the way, there’s no golf course on Mar-a-Lago. The golf course is a hop skip and trip away, but it’s not on Mar-a-Lago. These people don’t even know what they’re talking about now. (impression) “What, does he expect us to go to Mar-a-Lago?” You could do worse, Ms. Speier, you could do worse. By the way, that go funding effort, the GoFundMe effort?

They’re getting close to raising $1 billion. We may not even need five. They’re getting close already to… They have $3 million. They’re not close to a billion. They’re at $3 million right now, a little bit more, but… Sorry, it’s $5 million, $5.4 million, and their goal is $1 billion. So they’re halfway there. I’m amazed GoFundMe hasn’t shut it down. You know, they’re a bunch of left-wingers over there too. Here is Rick in central Missouri. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. Mega dittos from central Missouri.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: Hey, I want to I guess echo some of the sentiments of the previous callers, you know, with the frustration over this border wall. And, you know, I think we kind of have to… You know, it changed here while I was on hold with the president coming and saying he’s not gonna sign that continuing resolution. We kind of gotta trust him, and we really gotta be after our representatives. You know, in so many instances our elected representatives, they represent the party, and they forgot about what their constituents want, and I think we have to hold them accountable for that.

RUSH: Well, here’s… As I see this within the context of your observation, this is where we are. These Republicans, the last thing they want is a shutdown. I think they’re grossly mistaken and overly frightened of this, but the last thing they want is a shutdown. They want that more than they want border security. They’re petrified of a shutdown. If they believed the president when he told ’em he’ll veto this without money, then they’ll get the money.

If they believed him. If they really think that he’ll veto this. ‘Cause $5 billion? Folks, it’s so insignificant when compared to the total expenditure of $4 trillion. That’s gonna be the annual budgetary expense. That’s not what’s in the CR, but it’s, you know, a third of that or fourth of that. It’s just chump change to come up with this. If they think the president really meant that he’s gonna veto this, they will come up with the money.