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Thomas Gallatin / January 25, 2019

Dems Refuse to Negotiate; Will Trump Declare Emergency?

Senate votes down spending bills from both Dems and GOP. No end to shutdown in sight.

Update: On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden a deal to reopen the government until Feb. 15. He spoke of the plight of hard-working federal employees in his relenting, though he promised to keep fighting for “barriers, fencing or walls or whatever you want to call it.”

“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” Trump said. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security. I have a very powerful alternative, but I did not want to use it at this time. Hopefully, it will be unnecessary.”

Original story follows:

On Thursday, the Senate voted on competing spending deals. Both went down to defeat as neither the GOP’s nor the Democrats’ bills met the 60-vote threshold required for passage. Prior to voting, both parties acknowledged that neither bill had much chance of passing as Democrats still refuse to negotiate on funding even an inch of a border barrier. They rejected President Donald Trump’s compromise offer to extend DACA protections for three years — an immigration issue that Democrats claim to hold dear.

As the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history hits Day 35, it has become increasing clear that Democrats have chosen a path of non-negotiation. By repeatedly declaring a border barrier to be “immoral,” Democrat leaders have drawn a clear line in the sand. Since this is morality itself and not just a bit of funding, they now have no room to compromise — hence the ridiculous doublespeak from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Sanctuary City of San Francisco). On the one hand, she blasts Trump for wanting a border barrier, stating earlier this month, “The fact is a wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation. It’s an old way of thinking.” On the other hand, just yesterday she claimed, “Democrats have always been strong about honoring our oath of office to protect and defend the American people. … Securing our borders is an important part of that.”

The irony here, as we and many others have repeatedly pointed out, is Trump’s call for a border barrier is what these same Democrats were calling for only a few years ago. So has a border barrier always been an “immorality,” or has it become one only since Trump was elected president? Obviously that’s a rhetorical question. Pelosi and company are playing politics, particularly at the expense of federal workers. As Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) recently noted, “Last week, House GOP voted to pay federal employees their 1st paycheck in 2019, despite shutdown. Only 6 Dems voted with us. It failed. Dem priority is not paying workers or opening gov’t. It is opposing Trump.” Those federal workers are missing their second check today.

Crenshaw further explained, “Democrats are not prioritizing reopening the government. They are prioritizing NOT building physical barriers as part of comprehensive border security. I think many Americans are scratching their heads wondering — why not have both?”

In this current shutdown deadlock, Mark Alexander suggests that Trump declare a national emergency and “hang it around Demo necks because they refused any negotiation to reopen government.” Indeed, given that Trump appeared to cave on the SOTU, that may be his plan.

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