Trump once said it best: “I’ll own the shutdown.” But that was before he realized that wasn’t so smart and started blaming Democrats for shutting down the Federal Government over his demands for $5 billion to be allocated to “build the wall” on the US/Mexico border. It’s been nearly two weeks of the Trump shutdown and while Trump continues to blame Democrats — Republicans still control both chambers in Congress.
The first day that the House of Representatives will vote on a new Speaker of the House will be on January 3rd and given the Democratic majority, it looks like Nancy Pelosi will once again take on the Speaker role. Trump has spent the past two weeks blaming Democrats even though he can’t even get Republicans to agree on his demands. In typical Trump fashion, he tweeted to Democratic Leader Pelosi with an implicit acknowledgment that she’s taking over in the middle of another of Trump’s dumpster fires.
Trump has been on a roll lately as he continues to step on middle-class workers. After signing legislation that gave a huge tax giveaway for corporations and the wealthy, he tried to claim he gave middle class Americans huge tax cuts — but good luck seeing it on your paycheck if you make less than $150k a year. He told American troops during his trip overseas that he just gave them a huge payroll increase — but they know that’s a lie because they get their checks twice a month. He unilaterally froze pay for public sector workers who are all in the middle class saying the government couldn’t afford it. He’s attacked our military, our FBI, judges, the media, our allies, and ordinary citizens; he’s attacked everyone except for a guy named Vladimir Putin.
And this is the environment that Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority are walking into the House. Even Republican Senators have left D.C. for the holidays after passing a bill that Trump said he would sign before backtracking on it after Fox News hosts and right-wing radio hosts started to call him soft. Nancy weighed in:
.@realDonaldTrump has given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly & quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown – just the first sign of things to come in our new Democratic Majority committed to working #ForThePeople. https://t.co/CGl1euCotB
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 1, 2019
And while Republicans continue to assail Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in their hypocritical echo chamber, they will defend, minimize and support President Trump’s rhetoric and actions no matter how irresponsible. Soon to be Speaker of the House Pelosi said it right — Americans will finally have a chance to see what having a party filled with adults will look like. We look like a laughingstock to the rest of the world now not only because of Trump’s actions but because of the Republican party’s embrace of his actions and persona. It will be very clear that Democrats will quickly pass a bill that will not cede to Trump’s demands and then it will be in the hands of the Republicans in the Senate to vote on a bill that their party leader has already said he will veto. So while he calls for “let’s make a deal” — the Senate already passed legislation via a “deal” that he backtracked on.
Business Insider’s take:
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer implored Trump to avoid a shutdown in a fiery meeting that took place ahead of the deadline, but Trump was indignant on the matter of funding the wall, telling the top Democrats he’d be “proud to shut down the government.”
Since the shuttering of several federal departments on December 21, Trump has tweeted several times to pressure Democrats into resolving the shutdown but negotiations have stalled over the holidays.
Here is the official Dem response to the mess:
The President is using the government shutdown to try to force an expensive and ineffective wall upon the American people, but Democrats have offered two bills which separate the arguments over the wall from the government shutdown. The first bill would reopen all government agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security – not taking a position on the President’s wall. It would simply continue the funding levels and language that both parties have already supported. The second bill would extend the Department of Homeland Security’s funding through February 8th, which Republicans already supported in recent weeks.
If Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans refuse to support the first bill, then they are complicit with President Trump in continuing the Trump shutdown and in holding the health and safety of the American people and workers’ paychecks hostage over the wall.
It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported.”
Interesting times; more to come.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons