Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hit some serious semantic acrobatics on Tuesday when he took to the floor to blame Democrats for the shutdown, calling them “passive spectators,” and yet in the same day, blocked a spending package that would reopen the government.
In his floor speech, McConnell said that Democrats “could stand with common sense or … continue to remain passive spectators, complaining from the sidelines as the Speaker refuses to negotiate with the White House.”
My Democratic colleagues have an important choice to make. They could stand with common sense, with federal workers and with their own past voting records… or they could continue to complain from the sidelines as the Speaker refuses to negotiate with the White House. pic.twitter.com/7CKu7OlLmJ
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 15, 2019
Meanwhile, McConnell blocked a package by Maryland Democrats Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin that would reopen the government until September. Those bills have already passed the House of Representatives.
The Majority Leader said that the upper chamber will not “participate in something that doesn’t lead to an outcome,” according to The Hill.
He reasoned later that the White House would refuse to sign the Democrat bill into law anyway, so it didn’t make sense to consider in the Senate. President Donald Trump is refusing to ink any bills that don’t fund his wall while the Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, are refusing to budge on giving Trump any money for his wall.
Just before the government shuttered — we’re enduring now in the longest shutdown in history — Trump said that he would be “proud” to shut down over border funding. And every major poll has shown that Americans haven’t forgotten the president’s promise; they blame him, not Democrats, for the shutdown.
Though Capitol Hill leaders have been meeting with the White House throughout the shutdown, there still isn’t any light at the end of this tunnel. In a meeting last week, Trump even refused to talk to them, walking out of negotiations as soon as the issue of the wall was raised.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, Mitch McConnell seems to be staying loyal to the White House, refusing to consider bills that aren’t Trump-endorsed. It looks like the more than 800,000 federal workers out-of-work won’t be seeing paychecks any time soon.