The posture is a stark turnaround from a month ago, when Senate Republicans voted unanimously to fund the federal government without satisfying Trump’s wall request. It also stands in contrast to the first two years of the Trump administration, when Republicans controlled all levers of government yet failed to deliver on the wall. Few in the GOP matched Trump’s enthusiasm for a wall that he repeatedly promised Mexico would finance.
Throughout the dozens of interviews with The Washington Post, only six Republican senators were willing to say they would support reopening the government without wall money and without the president’s approval being a precondition. Some Republicans, such as Sens. Cory Gardner (Colo.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), have made it clear almost since the shutdown began that they would back spending legislation to end the impasse, even without border wall funding.
“Just a few weeks ago, they had no qualms in saying, ‘yeah, let’s move [a stopgap funding measure] until the eighth of February’ with nothing. They didn’t ask for anything with that and they were good with that then,” Murkowski said of her Republican colleagues. “And now we’re not good with it?”