Mitch McConnell is determined to maintain the Trump shutdown in the face of Democrats attempting to fund the government.
An attempt by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) to end the Trump shutdown was immediately quashed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Not only did McConnell prevent a vote on reopening the government, he called the very idea of voting on the issue "absolutely pointless."
Cardin stood up in the Senate and asked for unanimous consent to pass a bill which would end the weekslong Trump-led government shutdown. The Senate passed a similar measure — also by unanimous consent — in December. But this time, McConnell sided with Trump and objected.
"The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless, absolutely pointless, show votes back and forth across the aisle," McConnell said.
The 800,000 federal workers who are not being paid would probably not describe the attempt to reopen the government "pointless." Nor would the thousands of families who face possible evictions because of a lack of funds for certain housing programs. Nor would airline pilots, who warned of safety concerns because of the shutdown.
But to McConnell and his Republican colleagues, a vote to end the pain caused by the Trump shutdown is "absolutely pointless."
NEW: Sen. Cardin asks for unanimous consent for Senate to consider bill to end shutdown.
Leader McConnell objects. "The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless, absolutely pointless, show votes back and forth across the aisle," he says. https://t.co/n9IQ5KR9jj pic.twitter.com/v6uOcB0XOm
— ABC News (@ABC) January 10, 2019
After learning about Republicans blocking an attempt to reopen the government, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not hold back her ire.
"Do you take an oath to the Constitution or an oath to Donald Trump?" Pelosi asked her Republican colleagues. Judging by their actions, Republicans are more interested in kowtowing to Trump than fulfilling their constitutional duty of funding the federal government.
Trump instigated the shutdown in late December, throwing a tantrum and demanding Congress pay $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In a nationally televised meeting at the White House, Trump bragged that he would be "proud" to own the shutdown if Democrats refused to pay his ransom.
Democrats refused, and so Trump shut down the government. In the intervening weeks, national parks have become health hazards due to excessive human excrement, and the FDA announced they cannot adequately conduct food safety inspections.
Yet despite the pain caused to federal workers and the havoc wreaked by the shutdown, McConnell is too cowardly to stand up to Trump and even hold a vote on ending it. Even his hometown newspaper blasted him for his lack of leadership.
Trump showed his contempt for those seeking to end the shutdown by throwing a hissy fit and storming out of a negotiation meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Democrats in the House and Senate continue to fight every day to end the Trump shutdown. On the other side of the aisle, Republicans like McConnell show the American people that their allegiance lies with the tantrum-led whims of Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.