President Trump announced his endorsement of a spending bill to temporarily reopen the government this afternoon.
He made the announcement after the Senate failed to pass a spending bill to end the shutdown yesterday.
The agreement does not, however, resolve the issue of border wall funding, meaning it will only reopen the government for three weeks if a permanent solution can not be reached.
Thankfully, the GOP was unable to pass the bill which included the $5.7 billion the president has demanded, and six Republicans even went so far as to cross the aisle and vote for the Democratic spending bill which did not include the money for the border wall.
The failure of the Republican spending bill apparently prompted some GOP lawmakers to demand a closed-door meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet railed against Senator Ted Cruz and other Republicans for their complicity in the shutdown in a rousing 20-minute speech and placed the blame squarely on Trump’s shoulders.
“This idea that he was going to build a medieval wall across the southern border of Texas, take it from the farmers and ranchers that were there and have the Mexicans pay for it, isn’t true. That’s why we’re here, because he’s now saying the taxpayers have to pay for it.” — Bennet
Meanwhile, roughly 800,000 federal employees may still miss their second paycheck today, pushing families across the country further and further into severe financial distress.
Both the leader of the U.S. Coast Guard and the president of the Flight Attendants Union have made public statements decrying the shutdown and its impact on their employees, with Sara Nelson, president of the Flight Attendants Union, calling for a general strike.
“I find it unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as servicemembers.” — Admiral Karl Schultz, Coast Guard commandant
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, however, doesn’t “quite understand” why federal workers are having to rely on food banks and homeless shelters to make ends meet during the shutdown, and thinks folks should just take out a loan.
“Well, I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why, because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake—say, of borrowing from a bank or a credit union–are, in effect, federally guaranteed. So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it.” — Ross
Ross is estimated to have a net worth of around $700 million.
His ignorant comments, which exploded on the internet, were accompanied by an equally insensitive statement made by the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who insinuated that federal workers’ suffering is a sacrifice for the betterment of the country.
“Listen, this is—it’s not fair to you, and we all get that, but this is so much bigger than any one person. It is a little bit of pain, but it’s going to be for the future of our country.” — Trump
A “little bit of pain,” however, will quickly turn into a whole world of pain when food and housing benefits begin to dry up next month, inhibiting state and local governments from providing assitance to federal employees and their families.
If a permanent solution isn’t reached soon, things will be even worse in three weeks’ time.
Iron Triangle Press continues to report on the ongoing government shutdown.
If you are able, please consider making donations to your local food bank or homeless shelter in order to meet the critical need for food and supplies as this shutdown continues.