Trump is literally holding America hostage to get his wall.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that by refusing to reopen the federal government unless he gets funding for his unpopular border wall, Trump's tactics are no different from "kidnapping or terrorism."
"This is the third shutdown that has implemented as a policy, a policy to take hostage the people’s government and the people who work for the government — hostage," Hoyer said during his weekly meeting with reporters. "In another context we would call that an act of kidnapping or terrorism."
Thousands of federal workers will not receive their paychecks because Trump won't sign a bill to fund the federal government unless Democrats agree to waste billions of tax dollars on erecting a needless border wall. Trump once claimed Mexico would pay for the wall, but the Mexican government has flatly rejected that idea.
Some federal workers are being forced to work without pay for now, and will only receive back pay once the government reopens. Other workers — like the low-wage federal contractors who clean the government's buildings and staff its cafeterias — won't be able to earn a living at all during the shutdown.
Trump's decision to withhold these paychecks is hurting thousands of Americans and their families.
Many federal workers are now having trouble affording life's necessities, like food, medication, and housing, for themselves and their families.
Government workers have made it clear that they believe Trump's stance is an exercise in vanity, and that they don't appreciate suffering the negative effects of his tantrum.
Yet Trump continues to lie by insisting he has the backing of those workers and the American public.
Most Americans, whether or not they work for the federal government, are opposed to Trump's crusade. They don't want his wall, and they definitely don't want a shutdown over it. And they know Trump is to blame — along with the Republicans in Congress who are enabling him.
The public doesn't want the wall, and Congress doesn't either. But Trump doesn't care about democratic accountability, and is willing to abuse the powers of the presidency to get what he wants.
When Hoyer bluntly compares Trump's actions to serious crimes like kidnapping and terrorism, he is drawing attention to just how serious this abuse of power really is. And he's speaking for millions of frustrated Americans who just want their lives back.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.