News

Politics & Policy

McConnell Warns against Shutdown after Trump Spars with Dems

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., November 14, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/REUTERS)

Just minutes after President Trump and Democratic leaders held television audiences spellbound with an acrimonious spat in the Oval Office, Senator Mitch McConnell warned that a partial government shutdown would not help Republicans.

“I hope that’s not where we end up. I understand it was a rather spirited meeting,” the Senate majority leader said when Republican lawmakers addressed reporters after the Oval Office contretemps.

“One thing I think is pretty clear no matter who precipitates the government shutdown is the American people don’t like it,” McConnell said. “I hope that will be avoided and both sides understand that’s not a great way to end what in my opinion has been the most successful Congress, right of center.”

Several government agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, State, Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Justice, are scheduled to run out of money on December 21 if Congress cannot agree on legislation to continue funding the government. About 300,000 federal workers will be furloughed if a shutdown occurs.

The sticking point in the negotiations is Trump’s long-promised wall on the southern border: Democrats have offered to renew the $1.6 billion for border security they agreed to last year, while Trump is asking for $5 billion to build the wall.

“There are no votes in the House, a majority of votes, for a wall,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said during the Oval Office meeting with Trump and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday. “We do not want to shut down the government,” Schumer added. “You have called 20 times to shut down the government.”

“I’ll take it,” Trump told the New York senator. “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”

Most Popular

Elections

Weirdo O’Rourke

Friends of the young Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke of the special glow of promise they had about them, even back in their early twenties. Angels sat on their shoulders. History gave them a wink and said, “Hey, good lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later.” Robert O’Rourke? Not so much. He ... Read More
Education

Our Bankrupt Elite

Every element of the college admissions scandal, a.k.a “Operation Varsity Blues,” is fascinating. There are the players: the Yale dad who, implicated in a securities-fraud case, tipped the feds off to the caper; a shady high-school counselor turned admissions consultant; the 36-year-old Harvard grad who ... Read More
U.S.

McCain at Annapolis

President Trump has been doing a lot of tweeting today -- against TV programs, companies, and other things that have incurred his displeasure. These tweets make for interesting reading. One of them is this: So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent ... Read More
Health Care

David Brooks Forgets to Oppose Some Suicides

The well-meaning David Brooks urges us to prevent suicide in his most recent New York Times column. The crisis is certainly real. From "How to Fight Suicide:": You’ve probably seen the recent statistics about the suicide epidemic — that suicide rates over all have risen by over 30 percent this century; ... Read More