The Trump Shutdown is now three weeks old, the longest U.S. government shutdown ever, and it is really starting to hurt people. And even though they’re trying to hide it in a show of party unity, Republicans are starting to panic.
Donald Trump behaves like a sociopath who doesn’t care about other people, but most Republican members of Congress do care. They know that as the shutdown continues their popularity at home continues to plummet.
As each day goes on, more and more Republicans are beginning to take the side of the Democrats who want to pass legislation to fund the government without giving Trump money for his wall.
After Trump’s disastrous speech on Tuesday night several GOP senators said they wanted to end the shutdown. On Wednesday eight House Republicans joined all House Democrats in voting to re-open the government.
Then yesterday, on the individual appropriations bills to reopen parts of the government piecemeal, even more Republicans started to defect.
Chad Pergram from Fox News tweeted:
“12 GOPers defect & side w/Dems on bill to fund Transportation/Housing pgmrs”
12 GOPers defect & side w/Dems on bill to fund Transportation/Housing pgmrs: RodneyDavisIL
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 10, 2019
And now four Senate Republicans have called for an end to the shutdown as they fear a backlash from the unpopular tactic. They are Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, Maine’s Susan Collins, and Colorado’s Cory Gardner. Senate Democrats are starting to block all bills in the Senate until the shutdown is resolved.
Not all Republicans are giving up on the wall. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), warned that abandoning the wall could be “the end of [Trump’s] presidency,” and he tried to broker a last-ditch trade of DACA for Trump’s wall demands. He is now saying that “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall.”
If Republicans wanted to, they could end the shutdown right now without Trump. The resolution Democrats sent to the Senate to keep the government open without a wall passed on a voice vote three weeks ago, and there would be enough votes to override a presidential veto.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has single-handedly blocked any Senate vote from taking place, since he is opposed to the idea of going against the president’s wishes.
This hard-line position by McConnell is causing Republicans real political problems, and this is why they are panicking.
“Mitch McConnell is the only person standing in the way of a bill that would reopen the government passing the Senate and being sent to Trump’s desk without the wall.”
“If enough Republican Senators bail, expect them to join Democrats in trying to force a vote on a wall free bill to reopen the government. McConnell may have no choice soon, but to cave to the demands of the Senate. Trump is on Capitol Hill trying to keep Senate Republicans in line.”
“The whole fiasco is coming to a head. Republicans are ready to bolt.”
Most Republicans in Congress want to end this disastrous situation, and are willing to do it with or without a border wall.
As more Republicans face the political consequences due to the financial distress of their constituents affected by Trump’s shutdown, look for more pressure to be put on McConnell to allow a Senate vote on the bills that would provide money the government needs to re-open.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.