How Democrats are handling the government shutdown
Democrats are railing against President Trump’s irresponsible behavior after the government partially shut down Saturday.
“It was unnecessary and avoidable,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said, according to the Hartford Courant. “Any shutdown is unfair to the American people and there’s no excuse. I’m hopeful we’ll resolve it over the weekend.”
But the shutdown will drag on at least through Thursday, after both the Senate and the House adjourned for Christmas, leaving some 420,000 federal workers forced to work without pay. About 380,000 federal workers are furloughed.
It doesn’t have to be this way. This administration’s constant chaos and dysfunction is embarrassing and, more importantly, harmful to the country. @realDonaldTrump decided to force a shutdown, and the GOP went along with it, even though a bipartisan solution was at hand.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 22, 2018
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted Saturday. “This administration’s constant chaos and dysfunction is embarrassing and, more importantly, harmful for the country.”
The shutdown began Saturday just after midnight, as Trump is demanding $5 billion for a wall on the country’s southern border — a wall he has long promised Mexico would pay for. Democrats have refused the request.
“At midnight last night, roughly 25 percent of the government shut down because of one person and one person alone: President Trump,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor Saturday. “We arrived at this moment because President Trump has been on a destructive two-week temper tantrum.”
The president, Schumer said, is “swindling the American taxpayer.” Many members of his caucus have echoed their leader since the shutdown.
Congrats—Trump wanted a #GovernmentShutdown and now he’s got it. He can celebrate all he wants, but hundreds of thousands of unpaid and furloughed federal employees will be hurting this holiday season. This shutdown could have been averted. The American people deserve better.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) December 22, 2018
“Trump wanted a #GovernmentShutdown and now he’s got it,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) tweeted Saturday. “He can celebrate all he wants, but hundreds of thousands of unpaid and furloughed federal employees will be hurting this holiday season.”
Funding for national parks operations, homeland security, tax collection, transportation, and law enforcement have expired. The rest of the government, including the military, is funded through next September, but the longer the shutdown lasts, the more services will lose funding.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) announced Saturday that she will be going without a salary during the shutdown and instead donating it to charities in her state.
I cannot take a salary during a government shutdown knowing that so many federal workers in Nevada and across the country will go without pay. I’ll be donating my salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the Trump shutdown.
— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) December 22, 2018
“I cannot take a salary during a government shutdown knowing that so many federal workers in Nevada and across the country will go without pay,” she tweeted. “I’ll be donating my salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the Trump shutdown.”
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), meanwhile, said he refused to predict how the next few days will go.
“Predicting what this president is going to do is not a worthwhile enterprise,” Hoyer told the Washington Post. “I’m going to go to the Maryland basketball game this afternoon. Why? Because the Senate is negotiating. The earliest we could vote is on Monday. That’s Christmas Eve. If they had agreement today, they might end up [holding the vote] on Wednesday night.”
Trump previously vowed to “own” the shutdown.
“I will take the mantle,” Trump said during a meeting with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the White House earlier this month. “I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”