Federal bureaucrats had better learn to live on less money now that Congress has adjourned without passing a bill to fund those parts of the government that shut down on Saturday.
The bureaucrats won’t be paid at least until January 3, when the partial shutdown will have entered its 13th day.
Question is, how long will Trump hold out as Democrats ratchet up rhetoric with help from the leftist media?
This morning, Trump threatened to close the border if Democrats don’t approve money for a border wall.
25 Percent of Gov’t Is Closed
About 25 percent of the government is closed, the Washington Post observed, “with roughly 800,000 workers affected, including an estimated 350,000 who are on furlough at home without pay.”
But a spokesman for open-borders Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Post that Democrats would pass a bill when they return.
Of course, that bill must get through the Senate, which Republicans will still control when Congress reconvenes on January 3.
Meanwhile, the Post reported, “Office of Personnel Management [IOPM] sent out a Twitter post Thursday morning in which it shared advice and letter templates for federal workers to use in negotiating for deferred rent and payments to other creditors.”
Tweeted OPM, “Feds, here are sample letters you may use as a guide when working with your creditors during this furlough. If you need legal advice please consult with your personal attorney.”
The agency included a link to sample letters for creditors and mortgage companies, both of which contained this boilerplate plea: “I am a Federal employee who has recently been furloughed due to a lack of funding of my agency. Because of this, my income has been severely cut and I am unable to pay the entire cost of my mortgage, along with my other expenses.”
The departments affected include Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Treasury, and Transportation.
For his part, Trump continued hammering the message that Democrats are obstructing border security, and thus to blame for the shutdown.
“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” he tweeted. “Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!”
Yesterday, Trump went after the Pelosi-Schumer Democrats as well. “Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border,” Trump wrote. “Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country. Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”
Trump also averred that border agents want the wall and Democrats don’t, “even though they know it is really needed.”
Trump also tweeted about the manhunt for the illegal-alien suspect in the murder of a policeman in Newman, California. “There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop,” Trump wrote. “Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”
Will Trump Hold Firm?
But Democrats aren’t the only politicians to blame for the shutdown.
Republicans are too, and in some sense, might even be more blameworthy than the Democrats.
After the House of Representatives passed a bill, as Trump demanded, with $5.7 billion for a border wall, spineless Republicans in the Senate refused to use the “nuclear option” to put the funding bill through that chamber. The option would have allowed the majority to end debate and pass a bill with a simple majority.
Because McConnell refused to employ the parliamentary tactic, despite Trump’s urging on Twitter, the bill failed to pass even though the GOP had a majority of the votes. Problem was, a super-majority of 60 votes was needed to pass.
That triggered the shutdown that began last Saturday.
Question is, will McConnell and Trump hold firm when the new Congress convenes on January 3? House Democrats will undoubtedly pass, and send to the Senate, a bill to fund the government without money for the border wall.
Then it’s up to McConnell. He might cave and get the Senate to pass the bill without any wall money, leaving Trump with the choice of either signing the bill — or vetoing it and continuing the government shutdown.
If Trump signs such a bill, he will have reneged on a key campaign commitment and could lose re-election because of it. If he doesn’t sign the bill, Democrats can blame him for the shutdown, which he said he would proudly accept.
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