Donald Trump’s shutdown is on day three and it’s “very possible” it will continue into 2019, according to Mick Mulvaney, who should know, since he’s on tap to be Trump’s next chief of staff. The partial shutdown is leaving 800,000 workers without a paycheck (though some are likely to get back pay later).
Sunday afternoon, outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corker said that “This is a made-up fight, so the President can look like he’s fighting, but even if he wins, our borders are going to be insecure.” Corker should know posturing when he sees it, considering his ongoing speak-out-against-Trump-but-vote-with-him act. But Corker isn’t alone among Republicans in sounding dismissive:
“This is really much ado about very little,” Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We have an impulsive president; we know that,” he conceded, lamenting that the shutdown was “taking away focus from where it should be, from a really strong economy.”
The thing is, it’s not very little to the low-paid federal contract workers who are losing pay right at Christmas and won’t get back pay. Some may face eviction and other serious consequences. And a president shutting down a large part of the federal government in a temper tantrum over his desire to build a useless monument to hate isn’t a small statement about where the United States is right now.
Mike Pence was called up to negotiate on Trump’s behalf on Saturday, but that yielded little progress. The Senate won’t even be in session until Thursday (there’s a pro forma session Monday), with lawmakers home for Christmas—a Christmas that will see many federal workers struggling.
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