Advertisement

The hypocrisy of the GOP lawmakers allowing Trump’s shutdown to continue

Much of the federal government remains shut for the 17th day.

Restrooms at East Potomac Park are closed due to the Trump shutdown.
Restrooms at East Potomac Park are closed due to the Trump shutdown. CREDIT: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s federal government shutdown is now in its third week, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated repeatedly that he will not allow the Senate to even consider the bills passed last week by the House to reopen the government.

While Trump has made clear that he would own the decision to shutter much of the executive branch over his demand for $5 billion in taxpayer funding for the border wall he promised would be fully funded by Mexico, congressional Republicans who are enabling him also deserve much of the blame.

A two-thirds majority in the House and Senate could override any Trump veto and reopen the government within days. But for now, few Republicans have shown any willingness to stand up to Trump holding the government’s function hostage to his desire to break his promise and build a wall at taxpayers’ expense.

Advertisement

ThinkProgress examined what Republicans in the Senate majority and House minority said about other shutdowns and found that many railed against what Trump is currently doing.  Here are some of the most hypocritical comments:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “There will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that… Shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy. I don’t think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy.” (October 2013)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): “They are shutting down the government, cutting off funds for our troops, cutting off funds to opioid treatment centers, and cutting off health insurance for American children over immigration, over something that has nothing to do with this funding bill or with putting the American people first… Why are they holding our government and our troops and American children hostage?” (January 2018)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “Our latest offer from the House of Representatives was, let’s keep the government running and let’s sit down according to our rules and have a conference and talk about it. This stubbornness in the face of reasonableness will not be good for our country, will not be good for either political party, it will not help us to achieve the kind of result on this and other issues that the Founders intended by creating a system of checks and balances in our democratic form of government.” (October 2013)

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “I call on Senate Democrats to end the political gamesmanship and approve this continuing resolution in order to prevent a government shutdown and ensure everyone plays by the same rules. The President and his Democrat allies in the Senate shouldn’t be able to shut down the government just so they can preserve special interest carve outs for the people they play golf with on the weekends.” (September 2013)

Advertisement

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR): “I’m disappointed that the partisanship in Congress has resulted in a government shutdown. What is most frustrating is that this directly impacts the services Americans rely on. A government shutdown has real implications for seniors, veterans and hardworking Arkansas families who rely on the services provided by federal agencies.” (October 2013)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC): “The decision to shut down the government has been viewed, rightfully, by the American people as irresponsible governing.” (October 2013)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “Shutting down the government is no way to govern. I fear that this shutdown could disproportionately harm Alaska and the economy with a ripple effect.” (October 2013)

Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA): “Their shutdown accomplished nothing – it kept funding from sick children, risked pay checks for our troops and failed to resolve any immigration issue. Washington can come up with some crazy ways to waste time and money, but this pointless shutdown that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi orchestrated probably takes the cake.” (January 2018)

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)“The Senate and the President must look past partisan politics, avoid brinksmanship and move swiftly on this measure to ensure uninterrupted government operation.” (September 2011)

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX): “I am disgusted with Senate Democrats holding government funding hostage to try to achieve their agenda while harming millions of Americans. Senator Schumer must end his politically motivated shutdown and pass the bipartisan House bill that keeps the government open. There is literally nothing in this bill that he opposes. By blocking this bipartisan bill and requiring a supermajority vote, he has manufactured a government shutdown to demand that his amnesty plan be added to the bill.” (January 2018)

Advertisement

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE): “Government shutdowns reflect dysfunction and hyper partisanship. We should be sitting together and developing a bipartisan solution to secure our border, reform antiquated immigration policies, and find a permanent solution for our DACA youth so they don’t have to worry about deportation. Shutting down the government is not the way to solve this problem … This is a time for statesmanship and not partisanship.” (January 2018)

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX): “They’re willing to shut down the government. And they of all people have warned how damaging this is to the economy, to shut down a government especially when you’re trying to get people back to work… we’ll see if there are Democrats who are actually going to do what the Constitution requires them to do.” (January 2018)

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL): “The party in power almost always loses in the game of shutdown politics, as it suggests the party does not know how to govern and does not deserve to govern. In the late-night rush to negotiate a deal, the powerbrokers eventually concede, bad policy is enacted, and Congress is pressured to vote for the deal to please some segment of their constituency. It’s a loss on both sides of the aisle. … That’s why last week I introduced H.R. 5313: The End Federal Shutdowns Act. This legislation automatically requires continuity of spending at the previous year’s levels should Congress fail to pass spending bills on time. Hence, government shutdowns become a thing of the past.” (March 2018)

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN): “I think closing down the government is not the answer. I believe there will be funding for the wall, for building parts of the wall at least… I think there will be funding for border wall and border enhancement, border security enhancement, but I don’t believe we’re gonna shut down government. I absolutely would not be in favor of that.” (August 2017)

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL): “This shutdown was meaningless and petty. Senate Democrats shut down the federal government over illegal immigration, but thankfully they caved after realizing the blame was squarely on their shoulders… To make clear, there was no agreement made in the House about any issues relating to illegal immigration. This #SchumerShutdown accomplished absolutely nothing. I hate that this whole ordeal even occurred, but I am glad the federal government can now return to business.” (January 2018)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY): “We watched repeatedly, Mr. Speaker, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle go down the list of all the damages that’s being done by this shutdown but they won’t end the shutdown. We agree this shutdown is absolutely unconscionable in these circumstances. Every time, Mr. Speaker, a member on the other side of the aisle who failed to vote for all 12 of those appropriations bills that we put on the floor and we passed through this house stands up and talks about us doing our job needs to look in the mirror, Mr. Speaker.” (January 2018)

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): “History shows that government shutdowns never work.. The party and the people who provoke them are roundly condemned by the public. You can never win when you make the American people lose… It is a shocking and disgraceful decision by Senate Democrats to shut down the government of the United States in order to extract concessions in key negotiations. And it is both shameful and unacceptable. I applaud President Trump for not negotiating on immigration until the government reopens. It is my hope that Democrats will come to their senses and put the best interests of the American people and the security of the United States ahead of partisan objectives.” (January 2018)

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX): “Despite all the good done for Americans in this funding package, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has decided to take a gamble with funding for our troops and children’s healthcare because there’s one thing he wanted that isn’t included in this legislation. And unfortunately, the rest of the Senate Democrats are blindly following their leader’s decision to shut the government down. To shut the government down because of an unwillingness to come to the table and negotiate is childish, irresponsible, and beneath the dignity of the office which Senator Schumer holds. Democrats must stop holding the American people hostage, and vote with the rest of Congress to reopen the government.”(January 2018)

Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX): “The clock is ticking on a federal government shutdown and it seems as if Senate Democrats are willing to jeopardize the needs of our troops and the health of our children over unrelated issues that can still be handled at a later date and in a timely manner. Now is not the time to grandstand and play political games. I urge Senate Democrats to reconsider their tactics and vote in favor of this bipartisan House-passed bill to keep our government open to serve the American people.” (January 2018)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): “When Members of Congress are sworn in, we swear to uphold the Constitution and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. This solemn oath is freely given by the men and women elected to serve in the United States Congress, and it is an oath that I take very seriously. Today, I was deeply saddened to witness Senator Schumer and Senate Democrats ignore that responsibility to engage in partisan posturing. … Senator Schumer and his colleagues abandoned sound policymaking and forced the upheaval of a government shutdown in a partisan effort to advance their immigration priorities.” (January 2018

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO): “Minutes ago, Senate Democrats proved that they are willing to shut the government down and deny our troops funding unless they get their way, and they refused to pass the bill. Senate rules require sixty votes in the Senate to pass this funding bill and re-open the government. I call on Senate Democrats to join us in a bi-partisan manner to fund the government and fulfill our obligations to the American people – they deserve better.” (January 2018)

Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood, and John Shimkus (R-IL): “We are asking Senators Durbin and Duckworth to vote on the substance of the bill; we are asking them to vote to reopen the government immediately. Holding the U.S. government hostage over unrelated issues that we have all committed to addressing is no way to govern.” (January 2018 joint statement)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX): “With nearly all Republicans in both chambers ready and willing to reopen the government, the responsibility is squarely on Senate Democrats to put American citizens first and provide these essential services for Texas and our country. Only after their reckless, avoidable charade is complete – and the government is reopened – can we proceed to the important issues facing the American people.” (January 2018)

Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI): “This was an unnecessary shutdown by Senate Democrats to negotiate an issue completely unrelated to keeping the government open. Today’s legislation is responsible and it funds priorities for our state including children’s health insurance, Great Lakes protection, and national security. Our country faces important issues including immigration and a long-term budget solution and I look forward to working on them.” (January 2018)

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) “As the United States enters 2018 with an economy starting to rip and our physical security strong, there was no good reason at all for the federal government to shutdown last Friday evening. … Drug overdoses are now the number one cause of death for Americans under 50, and any single day that Congress wastes in a government shutdown is yet another day that over 140 more Americans will die from an overdose because new progress wasn’t achieved for additional prevention, treatment and rehabilitation options.” (January 2018)