U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, said he was a “little surprised” President Donald Trump did not describe in the Tuesday night State of the Union address a “what if scenario” for Congress, if funding for a border wall is not authorized by a Feb. 15 deadline.
“If I know President Trump, it has something to do with the art of the deal,” Marshall said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Trump co-wrote the book "The Art of the Deal" before running for office.
The State of the Union “was supposed to be a speech to bring us together,” Marshall said. Talking about the option of declaring a national emergency if the wall is not funded certainly would have been very divisive as Trump addressed the joint session, Marshall noted.
The longest federal government shutdown ran 35 days, ending Jan. 25 with Trump setting the deadline of Feb. 15 for acton on wall funding.
“I’m not hearing much progress being made,” Marshall said. “I don’t see it going anywhere.” He said he thinks Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi “holds the key.” Marshall said neither the President nor Congress wants another shutdown, and that could force Trump to declare some type of emergency.
“Then, we’ll see what happens in the court system,” Marshall said.
Trump criticized New York’s new late-term abortion law in the State of the Union. Marshall is a co-sponsor of a new House bill to “protect pain-capable unborn children.” The other Kansas Republicans in the House - U.S. Reps. Ron Estes, R-Wichita, and Steve Watkins, R-Topeka - also are among the more than 100 co-sponsors.
Similar legislation passed the House in the last session but did not come out of the Senate. Both chambers have “pain-capable” bills in the new session, according to Marshall. This time around, Marshall said, the Senate potentially could pass the bill, but not the House. Democrats are the majority party in the House now.
"It would take probably 30 Democrats to vote in favor of it to pass the House,” he said.
Marshall said he wished every Kansan would have been with him on the House floor Tuesday, as Republicans and Democrats stood in unison and cheered at times, including when World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors were among those guests introduced.
Why don’t they turn that into positive legislation, whether it’s addressing immigration reform or some other issue, Marshall said he thought.
There is bipartisan support for infrastructure funding. Marshall said behind-the-scenes work is taking place to produce an infrastructure proposal.
Marshall, who said this past weekend while in Reno County that he is seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, said he stands behind Trump’s policies.
When Trump walked out of the House chamber Tuesday, he shook the Congressman's hand, looked him in the eye, and said, "'Thank you, thank you,'" Marshall recounted. Trump was grateful for support and has had some "pretty tough times" recently, Marshall said.
"He's a person, too," Marshall said.