Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) went on Fox News this morning as the government shutdown approaches its 23rd day. He asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to keep Congress in session so they can work out a deal to get the government up and running again.
“We need to be here working on this issue which is in the forefront now with the government being shut down,” Wittman said. “People expect their government to work and get things done.”
There have been several discussions over the past four weeks between Republicans and Democrats, but the impasse continues. At issue is the border wall, which President Trump asked for well before the government shutdown started. He declared then that he would not sign a CR to prevent a partial government shutdown. Democrats have declined to consider anything that includes funding for the border wall.
“On Friday, I asked Speaker Pelosi to keep us in session,” Wittman continued. “I sent her a letter and said ‘we have the business of the nation to do.’ The people who have sent us here expect us to get the job done. They expect us to find common ground.”
While the President waits…
I’m in the White House, waiting. The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019
…the Democrats have other things to do…
Despite a partial government shutdown with no end in sight, about 30 Democratic members of Congress traveled to Puerto Rico this weekend — with their families and lobbyists — for a winter retreat where they also planned to see a special performance of the hit Broadway show “Hamilton.”
Those attending the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC gathering in San Juan also planned to meet Saturday with Puerto Rican officials to discuss ongoing cleanup efforts from Hurricane Maria, according to a report.
Democrats have held an advantage on this issue ever since the President announced he’d “own” the shutdown. Currently, most Americans believe the shutdown is the President’s and the GOP’s fault, but things may be changing soon in public sentiment. The optics of their Puerto Rico trip is as bad as it gets, especially with “Beach Bob” as their poster boy.
The bad optics of @BobMenendezNJ on the beach talking to a bikini-clad young lady in the midst of the longest government shutdown in history cannot be understated (though many wish it could be unseen). #FundTheWall #EndTheShutdown #BeachBob #BobPutYourShirtBackOnPlease pic.twitter.com/DIC8ii7FK4
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) January 13, 2019
If Republican stay in Washington and continue to beat the drum of “let’s get this done,” they can turn the tide on the Democrats. But they must do so in good faith. That means making real offers the Democrats could actually accept.