I was taken by surprise at the short-term deal that Donald Trump made with the Democratic leaders to extend the debt ceiling and the budget financing until December 8, 2017. Both those issues had faced September deadlines and I thought that Trump would refuse to pass ‘clean’ bills that accomplished just those things and would use them as a threat to shut down the government if he did not get funding for his wall or get the tax cuts for the rich that he and the Republicans want so dearly.
I do not know what made him agree to this deal since he does not seem to have gained anything by it and it just kicks the can down the road until just before Christmas. That is when Congress is anxious to get out of town for the holidays and so he may be hoping that the threat of a shut down may be taken more seriously then. But that would be giving Trump too much credit for thinking strategically. He does not seem to think beyond what he wants to do in the next ten minutes. It is a puzzle.
John Oliver describes what happened.