You’d think that if you’re a member of Congress, job number one would be to keep your country’s government operational at all times. But you’d be wrong. With a shutdown of the federal government now underway, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided not to address this burning crisis but instead to let his fellow Republicans go home and celebrate Christmas. They won’t be back until Thursday at the soonest.
Meanwhile, 380,000 federal workers are now furloughed over this holiday season, while another 400,000 are forced to work without pay. That includes TSA employees, as BuzzFeed’s David Mack notes, who now have the privilege of helping GOP senators make their way home to be with their families while seeing their paychecks come to a halt.
Don’t fret for Congress, though. Senators and representatives alike still get to draw their salaries as though nothing were amiss. And that’s certainly how the Republican Party is treating the situation. There’s a bipartisan majority ready to fund the government properly, but GOP leaders are kowtowing to a delusional Donald Trump and his fantasies about steel slats rather than doing the right thing. As the country looks on in disgust, no wonder Republicans trying to make themselves scarce.