As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate late Thursday night to prevent a vote on a House spending bill and with President Donald Trump prepared for a mid-day departure for another weekend spent at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida, the Republican Party—try as they might and because they control the White House and Congress—is having a difficult time trying to pin the blame for a looming government shut down on the Democrats.
When Republicans control the Senate, House and White House, and they blame Democrats for the shutdown, I don’t think anybody is going to take that seriously.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 19, 2018
During a floor speech on Thursday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) made a similar argument as she blasted the GOP for making a “mockery” of the country’s legislative process. “We’re back again for the third short-term spending bill of this fiscal year,” Jayapal lamented. “This is no way to govern.”
The Republican majority is making a mockery of our legislative process. We’re back again for the third short-term spending bill of this fiscal year.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 18, 2018
Reporting by Politico painted the U.S. Senate as a chamber in “disarray” where prospects looked “grim” for avoiding a shutdown:
After the GOP House passed a partisan month-long spending bill Thursday, senators in both parties appeared increasingly dug in. A spat on the Senate floor between [McConnell] and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer culminated in the chamber adjourning with no clear path to avoid a shutdown in barely 24 hours.
No vote is scheduled, and the two party leaders spent the night sniping over who’s to blame for the impasse. Democrats are demanding protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants facing deportation, and Republicans are insisting that government funding not be tied to immigration.
Because Democratic Senators, along with Independents like Sanders and even some Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have said they’ll vote against the House bill (a Continuing Resolution known as a CR) it’s unclear exactly what will happen when, as remains likely, it gets voted down on Friday.
What remains certain is this, if Congress does not pass a funding bill by midnight Friday, the federal government will shut down.
The possible irony of that timeline, as things currently stand, is that Trump plans to leave Washington, D.C. at 4pm Friday afternoon and head to Mar-A-Lago where he intends to enjoy the weekend and attend a lavish fundraising party meant to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
“This may seem like an extremely inopportune moment,” writes Marget Hartmann for the New York magazine, “for the president to be mingling with wealthy donors 1,000 miles away from the White House, especially since he’d need to sign any last-minute deals that Congress comes up with. But according to CNN, the Trump administration has already come up with a potential solution: if an agreement is reached, the president will just send a tweet announcing that everything’s cool now.”
According to Friday morning’s editorial in the New York Times, “One could almost — but not really — feel sorry for Republicans. This is a mess President Trump created, and Republicans are tiptoeing around him trying to fashion a temporary fix that he won’t demolish with a tantrum or a tweet.”