As the longest government shutdown in United States history barrels on, many on Capitol Hill remain doubtful that a deal is on the horizon that would put federal workers back to work.
“Pray,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told reporters when asked what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can do now that would help mend the gap between President Donald Trump’s promised border wall and Democrats refusing to give an inch. “And he may be doing that right now.”
Kennedy was then asked if he thinks the president would consider giving in to the Democrats’ request to briefly open the government back up.
“No way,” Kennedy responded. “You know when that’s going to happen? When you look outside your window and see donkeys fly. It’s just not going to happen.”
“[Trump] is not going to agree to a settlement unless there is a wall.”
According to the Republican senator, the reason talks are currently at a stalemate is due to the Democrats’ refusal to give even an inch of new border wall to the president —which Kennedy says will only prolong the shutdown because Trump isn’t caving this time around.
“If one party says ‘wall,’ and the other party says ‘no wall,’ the middle ground is not ‘no wall,'” Kennedy said regarding the ongoing negotiations between Trump and Democrats.
“The middle ground may be a smaller wall than what I would like. But he is not going to agree to a settlement unless there is a wall involved,” he added.
Tensions between the two parties increased further on Wednesday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked the president to reschedule his upcoming State of the Union address due to the shutdown — a move Kennedy said would only make things worse.
“I’m very disappointed in the speaker. I don’t think that helps anything,” Kennedy told reporters.
“I just think it’s petty,” he added. “It’s petty.”