Trump finds himself isolated in shutdown fight

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE is finding himself increasingly isolated less than a week ahead of a potential government shutdown, as even members of his own party admit that he has backed himself into a corner with his demands for $5 billion in funding for a wall on the Mexican border. 

“Everybody is looking to him for a signal about what he wants to do, and so far it’s not clear,” Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Trump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP MORE (R-Texas) said of the president.  

Few Republicans will criticize Trump on the record, but behind the scenes there is frustration that he has weakened the GOP’s negotiating position with Democrats. There is also a sense that Trump might not be worried about the fallout for his party if his own supporters delight in his fighting with Democrats.

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“Trump will get the blame, but he won’t care,” one GOP lawmaker told The Hill. “And the base will love him for it.”

Trump’s declaration last week that he would be “proud” to shut down the government to secure $5 billion for his border wall emboldened Democrats.

They say they will only agree to measures that extends last year's funding level, which would provide $1.6 billion for border security, including $1.3 billion for pedestrian fencing.

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (D-Calif.), the presumed next Speaker, publicly challenged Trump on whether Republicans could muster enough votes to pass such a bill in the House.

“You won’t win,” she told him at an extraordinary televised Oval Office meeting on Tuesday alongside Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.).

The House GOP’s decision to adjourn until Wednesday night, just two days ahead of the shutdown deadline, seemed to indicate that she was correct, though top Republicans continue to insist that they may bring the bill to a vote next week, and cautioned members that they should be prepared to return to Washington early.

While Republicans dutifully blame Democrats, most seem to agree that, were it not for Trump, there would be little trouble keeping the government open.

If he were to give the go-ahead to compromise, they say Congress would be able to pass appropriation measures for the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies that would keep the government open.

“The six bills we have are basically written and read out, ready to go, and with this one it’s only a portion of it that’s in dispute, so when the people who disagree come to an agreement, we can move,” said Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeSenate spending talks go off the rails as soon as they begin Social determinants of health — health care isn't just bugs and bacteria Republicans suffer whiplash from Trump's erratic week MORE (R-Okla.), an appropriator.

Republicans have also made clear that they oppose shutting down the government.

“One thing I think is pretty clear no matter who precipitates the government shutdown is the American people don’t like it,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet MORE (R-Ky.), who has been key to passing many of Trump's key accomplishments, this week. 

“I don't think anybody wants a shutdown,” added Rep. Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryThe Hill's Morning Report — DOJ's planned executions stir new debate Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question MORE (R-Pa.)

Cole warned that “you will lose a shutdown fight if you start it.” 

Since Trump and Democrats laid down their lines at Tuesday’s explosive Oval Office meeting neither side has budged. Democrats, naturally, blame the president.

“We've agreed to 99.9 percent. We disagree on the wall, but they want to shut down the government,” House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul Dem leader says party can include abortion opponents Hoyer calls on GOP leader to denounce 'despicable' ad attacking Ocasio-Cortez MORE (Md.) told The Hill. “And we thought the Mexicans were going to pay for it,” he added.

“If it were up to the Senate we could get all the appropriations bills done by Friday,” said Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDemocrats press for action on election security The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine MORE (D-Vt.), the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The difficult thing is that the experience has been when you make an agreement with President Trump, he thinks of something else two days later and changes his mind.”

Trump also seems to lack public support on the matter, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll survey published Tuesday, which found that 57 percent of respondents wanted the president to avoid a shutdown and compromise on the wall. 

But the sentiment was different among Trump’s base, which has often been more important in his decisionmaking. The poll found that 65 percent of Republicans surveyed did not want Trump to compromise. 

Trump has tried to throw the blame back at Democrats, tweeting a video Thursday night accusing them of hypocrisy on border security. 

“Let’s not do a shutdown, Democrats - do what’s right for the American People!” he wrote.

So far, the best prospects to avoid a shutdown that would affect 800,000 federal workers across the country seem to be short stopgap measures to push the fight until after Christmas or into the new year.

“It depends, really, on what the president would be willing to consider,” Cornyn said.

Juliegrace Brufke contributed to this article.