By Shlomo Rudman. The federal government went into a partial shutdown Friday evening, after Senate Democrats refused to support an interim spending bill which would include funding for a wall to be built on the border with Mexico. President Trump has suggested that the shutdown may last weeks, as both the White House and Democrats have dug in their heels on their respective positions on the matter.
During a federal shutdown, many federal government employees have their wages furloughed, or pushed off, until the shutdown ends. With the holiday season upon us, the government being shut down is especially painful for thousands of Americans who are not receiving their paychecks when they can most use it.
So, who is to blame? Does blame lay at the feet of President Trump who is refusing to sign a spending that doesn’t include border wall funding, or at the feet of Democrats, specifically Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who is barring Democrats from voting for such a bill?
Let’s take a short look at recent history to find out. In 2006, nearly every major Democrat, Schumer included, supported a bill which would have funded hundreds of miles of border fence. In 2013, a failed immigration plan had strong Democratic support. That bill was to prove $46 billion in funding to secure the border, with $8 billion of the total to allocated to erecting fences on the border. Compare that with Trump’s current request of just $5 billion to build a barrier, and the answer to the above query becomes obvious. The people to blame for the shutdown are the Democrats, especially Chuck Schumer.
The Senate Democrats have come to the conclusion, possibly correctly, that any political win for the Trump is a loss for them, and hurts their chances of winning back the White House in 2020. They have also determined that a shutdown will be viewed by most Americans as being the president’s, and by extension Republicans, fault, hurting their political appeal, and garnering Democrats more votes in future elections.
Therefore, Democrats have decided to throw sand in the gears of any and every Republican agenda, regardless of it’s merits. Securing the border was always a bipartisan issue – now, from the way Democrats speak of it, you’d think it’s the greatest political and civil debate since the Emancipation Proclamation. But it’s not – it’s just Democrats playing politics.
Who gets hurt from all this? Not Congress; they’re home with their families enjoying their time off (Congress gets paid even during a shutdown). The people feeling the pain are the simple, everyday Americans who earn a living by providing services for the federal government.
Schumer and the Democrats know this. They know of the plight of government employees, they know of the hardships caused by a shutdown, but they have an agenda to fulfill, and that is just more important to them. They’re far too busy sticking it to Republicans to concern themselves with “lowly” people who aren’t multimillionaires and actually need to do work, real work, to put food on the table.
When you hear Democrats bemoaning Trumps’ rigidity regarding border wall funding, remember that they supported it too, are just grabbing an opportunity to damage Republican chances in 2020, and really couldn’t care less that they are hurting America in the process.