In early December during a televised Oval Office meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and US Senator Chuck Schumer about the shutdown, Trump said, “I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shutdown the government for border security, Chuck. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”
Schumer has seized on that declaration by Trump saying “The President made clear he wants a shutdown.”
On Friday, January 11, 2019, the Federal Government shutdown officially entered its third week, making it the longest shutdown in government history.
800,000 federal workers have now been furloughed or are working without pay, and all have missed paychecks for the first time on Friday.
Local and national news media outlets have taken to do stories about federal government workers getting paychecks that show hours worked but a ZERO amount for pay.
Trump has sought to shift blame to Democrats for the shutdown and it may be working.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted from January 1 to January 7, 2019 asking who is to blame for the shutdown.
The national opinion poll found that 51% of adults polled believe Trump “deserves most of the blame” for the shutdown.
41% of the public supports building additional border fencing, down 12 points from a similar poll that ran in the first week of 2015, as opposition doubled among Democrats.
A surprising 32% blame congressional Democrats for the shutdown and only 7% blame congressional Republicans, despite the fact the Republicans refuse to bring to a Senate vote funding to reopen the government with no money for the border wall.
In the Reuters/Ipsos poll 35% of those poll support a congressional spending bill that includes funding for the wall and 25% support Trump’s decision to keep the government closed until Congress approves funding for the wall.
77% of Republicans said in the the Reuters/Ipsos poll that they want additional border fencing, and 54% said they support Trump shutting down the government until Congress approves funding for the wall.
In yet another public poll released by HuffPost-YouGov shows 51% of American adults blame Trump for the shutdown, 41% blame Democrats and 35% blame congressional Republicans.
United State Senator and Republican Majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not call for any votes on funding the government unless he is sure that Trump will sign it.
McConnell was burned before by Trump when a deal was struck supposedly with Trump before and he changed his mind when right wing political talk show hosts on the FOX network warned and blasted Trump for agreeing to the funding to reopen the government without funding for the Trump wall.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could bring a “clean” funding bill to the floor, free the Republican caucus to support it and secure enough votes to override a presidential veto.
McConnell did it once when Trump gave his blessings.
Before the holidays McConnell allowed a vote to keep the government running until February 8 to avoid a shutdown and buy more time to negotiate Trump’s demand for border wall.
The funding and the legislation passed easily with bipartisan support.
But then Trump bowed to pressure from his base, House Republicans dared not challenge him, and the parts of the government that had not yet been funded were shut down.
On January 9, 2019, President Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders within 15 minutes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not fund a border wall even if he agreed to reopen the government.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The greatest lie of all time by Trump has got to be when he said:
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”
The greatest boast of all time by Trump was when he said:
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?” Trump said at a rally in Sioux Center, Iowa as the audience laughed. “It’s, like, incredible.”
It is truly incredible that two national polls have found that only 51% of the American people believe that Trump deserves most of the blame for the shutdown and you would think it would be at least 75% to 80% given his promise that Mexico would pay for the wall and now he wants taxpayers to pay for it.
What is equally shocking is that the two national polls blame Democrats for the shutdown, 32% and 42%, and the same two polls blame Republicans only 7% or 35%.
A reporter asked Trump the question: “Mr. President, do you relate to the pain of federal workers who can’t pay their bills?”
Trump responded with yet another lie:
“I can relate … And I’m sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments. They always do. And they’ll make adjustments.”
Trump’s response is clearly one by someone who is absolutely delusional and totally out of touch with the American people.
Trump is a self-proclaimed billionaire living rent-free in the White House, is shuttled back and forth to his Florida country club at taxpayer expense at thousands a trip, yet he lies when he says he can relate to the plight of people living paycheck to paycheck.
800,000 public servants are now having their pay withheld and experiencing extreme anxiety and being forced into debt and perhaps foreclosures on their homes all because of a “Trumped up crisis” on our southern border that does not exist.
The “adjustments” our federal employees are making are seeking loans, dipping into retirement funds, filing for unemployment, finding part time jobs or other employment, with some reports of people setting up “go fund me” accounts.
PLEASE BOB MUELLER, RELEASE YOUR REPORT!