Viewed by political analysts as the most vulnerable Republican incumbent approaching midterm elections, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada can ill afford a government shutdown in the fall.
That’s why, according to Politico, Heller implored President Donald Trump to avoid shutting the government down over the border wall when government funding runs out on Sept. 30.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told Heller during a meeting with Senate Republicans on Tuesday, not providing Heller with the assurance he was looking for.
Heller is likely to face the Democratic primary favorite Rep. Jacky Rosen in November, and as the only incumbent Republican representing a state Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election, Heller is challenged with appealing to a relatively moderate base.
Several election rating outlets consider the race to be a “toss up” and Rosen nearly doubled Heller’s fundraising amount in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Ballotopedia
Heller won a close election in 2012, and was in the midst of a challenging primary this year against opponent Danny Tarkanian before Trump convinced him to drop out of the race and run for a House seat. Heller is considered a heavy favorite to beat five GOP hopefuls in a primary election on June 12.
President Trump has reportedly grown increasingly focused on picking up the pace on border wall construction and other border security measures, which Heller hopes can get done before a shutdown becomes necessary.
“As I told the President yesterday, we should not be debating a government shutdown in September,” Heller said in a statement. “Congress needs to do its job now and get the government funded before we break in August.”
Heller told the Reno Gazette Journal
that he believes border security must be a priority, although at the same time he has supported a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in past years.
Rosen also supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who otherwise abide by the law, but is in favor of deportation of violent gang members.