Congressional Republicans are faced with severing the will of their constituents or angering President Trump who seems locked in on receiving funding for his proposed border fence.
United States President Donald Trump threatened to continue the partial government shutdown for ‘months or even years’ during a January 4th news conference in the White House Rose Garden. The President followed up his boisterous remark by walking out of a meeting with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling it a “total waste of time.” He would publish the following tweet.
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Americans Mostly Blame Trump For Shutdown
After several major outlets had problems fact-checking President Trump’s Oval Office address on immigration, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a move to get the chamber to vote on spending bills to reopen the government and pay workers the money owed to them.
“The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless — absolutely pointless — show votes back and forth across the aisle,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. He continued, “The political stunts are not going to get us anywhere.”
While he claims his concern is avoiding ‘political stunts’ his true intentions likely lay with the low popularity of the government shutdown. Congressional Republicans are faced with serving the will of their constituents or angering President Trump who seems locked in on receiving funding for his proposed border fence.
A recent Reuters survey reads:
The national opinion poll, which ran from Jan. 1 to Jan. 7, found that 51 percent of adults believe Trump “deserves most of the blame” for the shutdown, which entered its 18th day on Tuesday. That is up 4 percentage points from a similar poll that ran from Dec. 21 to 25. Another 32 percent blame congressional Democrats for the shutdown and 7 percent blame congressional Republicans, according to the poll. Those percentages are mostly unchanged from the previous poll.
A Morning Consult poll shows similar results with 33 percent blaming ‘Democrats in Congress’ and 47 percent blaming ‘President Trump.’
Workers And Families Continue To Suffer
“The shutdown is definitely hard on the family,” an individual with knowledge of a situation of a government contractor said. Gizmodo collected GoFundMe stories from workers also affected by the shutdown:
From a government worker named Julie Burr in Kansas City, Missouri:
Being a contracted government worker, I’m losing pay every day that this government shutdown continues. I’ve taken on extra shifts at my 2nd job but it isn’t going to pay rent and all my bills. Being a single mom, I’m in panic mode right now. If you’d like to help, any donations are appreciated.
Another from a single mother captures the plight individuals are facing:
From a worker named Kinata Holt in Missouri:
I am a single mom of 6 children who depend solely on me. As a veteran and federal employee my only income has been stopped do to the government shutdown. I have sought and exhausted all other resources but they have not been enough to keep up with my bills or my children needs. I am not sure when will be able to return to work and I am merely asking for those who can to please help with a monetary donation of your choice.- A mom in need…. God Bless
And the story from two boys about their mother sums up the struggle.
As many are aware the president has called for a government shutdown. I am 14 years old who is in 8th grade and my brother is 12 years old who is in the 6th grade. What the president does not know, my mommy is not a democrat or a republican she is an independent. An independent mom who works for the federal government. My mom is a single mom of 2 boys trying to make ends meet. My mom does not get help from the state, she works really hard to provide for me and my brother. She raises us to know that education is #1. She is a strong independent woman. The last few weeks have been really hard. My mom was in the process of trying to move so my brother and I can have our own room. This has come to a stop now. Because she has not received her pay check and interest rates have gone way up. In addition, our lease is up and we don’t know what we are going to do. My brother and I came up with an idea… If we can get help, we can help our mom for a couple of weeks so she doesn’t have to go on unemployment, she mentioned she has to pay all loans and unemployment back and i know that will be just another stress for her.
My mom needs new glasses for the new year because she lost her old pair. Shes afraid to go to the doctor because she will have to pay. I think its kind of funny, that my mom now ask me to read whats on the TV, or hands me a piece of paper and say “ Robert read this”. Prescription Meds, I know she has not picked up. Gas, to pick us up for school. Rent, her bills. We need lunch money and groceries for our home. My little brother drinks 2 gallons a week, cause hes a growing boy and he loves cereal. My mom has given her life to the country and has worked for the government for the last 10 years. i feel so sad for her.
My mom cant get a second job because we are her second job. She picks us up and drops us off to school everyday and also take us to our sports every day. My brother and I are reaching out to the world to see if we can raise enough money so that she doesn’t have to worry anymore. We just want her to relax and know that everything will be okay, despite her job in jeopardy.
Thank you world for reading this.
God Bless Everyone as they go through this difficult time in America!
Robert & Tris
Security And Health Risks
“The ongoing federal government shutdown has stopped most food safety inspections, but the Food and Drug Administration is planning to resume at least some of them. To do it, the agency will have to force furloughed workers to come back without pay,” reported NBC, detailing what Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told one of their reporters.
Dr. Gottlieb would also publish the following Twitter thread to update concerned citizens.
THREAD: Food Safety During Shutdown: We’re taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk food facilities. 31% of our inventory of domestic inspections are considered high risk
— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) January 9, 2019
“The shutdown needlessly risks the safety, security and efficiency of our national airspace system,” Captain Joe DePete, President of the Air Line Pilots Association, said in a show of industry solidarity toward the federal workers hit by the funding fight according to Dallas News, echoing concerns of some who feel flying may not be safe during the shutdown.
“At this point in time, the traveling public has not anything to be concerned about, three months from now, I might not say that.” John Goglia Former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Board member and independent safety consultant told CNN. His take is more optimistic than others have about the current state of the TSA during the partial shutdown.