The longest government shutdown in American history has brought some Republican lawmakers to their breaking point as clashes between allies broke out Thursday at a private luncheon, according to the Washington Post.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) has been a stronghold in the shutdown, refusing to let the Senate take a vote on multiple bills passed by the Democratic-held House that would reopen the government. He finally allowed a vote on two bills — one backed by Democrats and another backed by Republicans — on Thursday, but both were shot down.
Two Republicans that were at the luncheon told the Washinton Post that at one point Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)“This is your fault.”
McConnell reportedly snapped back at his colleague, “Are you suggesting I’m enjoying this?”
A spokesperson for Sen. Johnson confirmed the incident.
The shutdown is now in its 35th day and politicians on both sides are scrambling for solutions as 800,000 federal employees miss their second paycheck in the shutdown cycle.
Already multiple Republican senators have switched sides and are more focused on reopening the government than supporting Trump’s plan for a southern border wall. Six Republicans voted for the Democratic-backed plan on Thursday that would’ve temporarily opened the government until Feb 8. It included no funding for the border wall.
Among those who voted for the Democratic plan was Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). He was explaining his decision to vote yes on both bills at the same Thursday luncheon Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) began to interrupt him. Romney reportedly “snapped back.”
Tensions are high in the GOP as more and more Americans are frustrated with the standoff over the border wall. A new CBS poll showed that 71 percent of Americans believed the wall is not worth the shutdown.