During the longest government shutdown in United States history, some Democrats traveled to Puerto Rico for a destination retreat, which has garnered criticism from well-known Republican leaders.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointed out that the group of over 30 Democrats was vacationing while thousands of federal employees were working without pay.
“Democrats in Congress are so alarmed about federal workers not getting paid they’re partying on the beach instead of negotiating a compromise to reopen the government and secure the border,” Sanders said.
Democrats in Congress are so alarmed about federal workers not getting paid they’re partying on the beach instead of negotiating a compromise to reopen the government and secure the borderhttps://t.co/zpJypJ2Slq
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 13, 2019
Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel also spoke out about the trip, saying that the president has stayed in the capital during the shutdown.
@realDonaldTrump is in DC working to resolve the government shutdown and secure our border, Democrats are hitting the beach and partying with lobbyists,” said McDaniel.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 12, 2019
As IJR previously reported, the trip was for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC’s winter retreat. The purpose of the trip was to show the effects of Hurricane Maria in order to encourage lobbyists and lawmakers to help.
However, the attendees have been seen lounging on the beach and are reportedly staying at a resort that is over $400 a night.
Spotted: Sen. Bob Menendez on the beach at a resort in Puerto Rico on Day 22 of the partial government shutdown. Reports say dozens of Dems are in PR for the CHC BOLD PAC winter retreat — including meetings on Maria cleanup, and a party with PR’s “Hamilton” cast. pic.twitter.com/6FaBYKPo4L
— David McAlpine (@DavidMcAlpine) January 12, 2019
The lawmakers also saw a special viewing of the hit play, “Hamilton,” with all of the proceeds of the show going to the Flamboyan Arts Fund. They also donated medical supplies as part of their efforts to help the island.
However, many are arguing that the trip paints Democrats in a negative light and sends a bad message to unpaid government employees.