Well this is interesting. It looks like Joe Donnelly is breaking from his Democrat overlords and wants to give Trump the money to build his wall:
POLITICO – One of the most vulnerable Democratic senators said he supports giving President Donald Trump billions of dollars for his border wall — a sharp break from the rest of the party planning to spurn Trump’s wall in spending negotiations this fall.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who is facing a new round of ads criticizing his position on immigration this week, said that Trump should get much more than the $1.6 billion the Senate Appropriations Committee has been preparing to send him. Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut the government down either before or after the election without a significant infusion of money to fulfill his signature campaign promise, often telling lawmakers he wants $5 billion in the September spending bill.
The moderate Democrat says he does “not want under any circumstances” a shutdown. So he said Congress should “absolutely” provide the president with a larger amount of border wall funding this fall to avoid one.
“I’m fine with providing him some more. I actually voted for border wall funding three different times,” Donnelly said in an interview here. “I’m fine with that. I’m fine with $3 [billion], $3.5, $4 or $5” billion this fall.
Donnelly supported Trump’s immigration bill, which would cut legal immigration, provide $25 billion for the wall and provide a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants. He also supported several variations of that and backed the Gang of Eight immigration bill in 2013.
Donnelly maybe soft on immigration from a Democrat perspective, but it’s a far cry going from the gang of 8 bill in 2013 to giving Trump billions for the wall.
His Republican adversary, Mike Braun, says this is just an election year epiphany:
But as Trump makes a potential pre-midterm stand on the wall, Donnelly’s opponent, GOP nominee Mike Braun, accused Donnelly of having an election-year epiphany in supporting more border money as part of the spending bill.
“My gut would tell me he wasn’t saying that nine, 10 months ago,” Braun said in an interview after an event in Mishawaka, Indiana. “He’s going to probably even be cut some slack by his base so he can stay alive and have a chance of staying in contention.”
I’d say that’s probably true. Donnelly is doing whatever he can to save his seat.
I looked at the polling in this race, and the last poll done was in May by Gravis. It put Braun up by +1. But I have no idea where the race lies as of right now, though I’m sure we’ll find out soon as this will be a hot election.
In any event, I would hope Republicans would use this to their advantage and get the needed funding for the wall before the election. Get a bill that can pass and force Donnelly to put his vote where his mouth is and see if it’s legit.
The problem is that if the bill can’t pass, it will just make Donnelly look good in that he can vote for it knowing it won’t pass. Which is why, according to Politico, that Republican leaders are shying away from a confrontation over wall funding before the election. I guess they are hoping they win seats and have a better chance of passing it after the election. But if last night is any indication, that could be a tall order.