In an interview with NBC News, Vice President Mike Pence jumped into the government shutdown fiasco but only added fuel to the fire.
As the shutdown reaches the end of its second day, compromise seems further away than ever. Pence took the unusual opportunity to play partisan politics during an international visit – to the troops at a military base near the Syrian border. There he besmirched the Democrats, placing the blame for the shutdown squarely on the minority party and declaring that the White House will not negotiate on immigration until the Democrats reopen the government. He implied that any hamstringing of the military by withholding pay during the shut down is the Dems’ fault.
WATCH: In an exclusive interview with @MitchellReports, Vice President Mike Pence says the White House won’t negotiate on immigration until the Democrats reopen the government. pic.twitter.com/6N41KWUid3
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) January 22, 2018
This ignores the obvious fact that the Dems are in the minority and that it’s the Republicans, with their 3 branch majority hold over the government who have the real power to make that happen.
Pence also ignores the fact that Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced a bill to pay military personnel through the shutdown that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell promptly shutdown.
“I want to make sure that tonight we send a very clear signal that we don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do for our national security,” McCaskill said on the floor last night.
McCaskill showed that she has the interest of working Americans front of mind, whereas McConnell’s actions indicate that he’s all about playing politics, even at the expense of working military personnel’s paychecks. Military salaries start at below $30,000.
For Pence to goad the military into blaming Democrats for the mess we’re all in is patently ridiculous. It seems to be Democrats who are keeping an eye on these kinds of details, as McCaskill did by introducing this bill. It’s Republicans that are being obstinate and refusing to make any compromises simply to toe the party line.