So, we’re three days into 2019, and thirteen days into the toddler-in-chief’s latest temper tantrum. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, or purposefully unplugged from politics to preserve your sanity, you’ve heard about the government shutdown that occurred right before the holidays. President Grinch asked Santa Congress to attach $5 Billion in funding to the government spending bill, so that he could build the wall he promised all his racist, xenophobic supporters on the campaign trail (you know, the one he REPEATEDLY said Mexico was going to pay for…), and Santa Congress said “hell nah.”
Now, maybe it’s because he never watched School House Rock or paid attention in civics class, but Trump honestly doesn’t seem to know how the US Government works. In order for a bill to pass, it has to have the required number of votes in both the House of Representatives (where, at the time, there was a Republican majority) and the Senate (where there is still a Republican majority). When he met with Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer prior to the shutdown, he claimed that Democrats were the reason behind the bill not passing. In truth, there aren’t enough House Republicans on board with this ridiculous ass proposition either. Pelosi reminded him of that, and Trump did what Trump does best: vomiting up nonsensical word salad, telling lies, and demonstrating his incompetence. By the end of the conversation, he’d stepped into a pile of huge, steaming shutdown of his own making.
If the shutdown only affected the paychecks of those making the decisions on capitol hill, the decision might be a little more understandable. But, numerous government agencies are feeling this hit. Departments like Housing and Urban Development, the Coast Guard, the FCC, and FEMA just to name a few, have had to furlough close to 800,000 federal employees or ask them to work without pay. Most ironically, the department that oversees Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is affected. The very people who work to protect the border are now working without pay because the president wants to build a wall which probably costs more than 10 years of their salaries combined. This whole situation is just…stupid.
The 116th Congress was seated earlier this week, and newly elected Speaker Pelosi wasted no time in bringing a measure to the House floor aimed at partially reopening the government. The bill passed with bipartisan support, but is said to face a veto from the president (if it even makes it out of the Republican-controlled Senate). Congressional leaders are slated to meet with the president on Friday in an effort to discuss a compromise, but if his previous behavior is any indication, getting him to let go of this wall funding will be more difficult than getting him to pronounce anonymous.