This morning, Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) refused to hold a floor vote on the same legislation which the Senate passed with unanimous consent in a voice vote just last month.
To make matters worse, he shrugged away the hardships facing the 800,000 government workers forced to toil without pay by saying that the Senate had more important things to do, like pass sanctions against Syria:
“You know there’s a lot of important business the Senate could be tackling…We’ve typically done that during these government shutdowns.”
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland decried the President’s extortionate negotiations and explained how little of the actual bills are disputed. In a somber and serious speech, he declared:
“America is being held hostage by President Trump for a wall. And it’s not for border security, we already appropriated funds for border security”
“There are seven appropriation bills that have not yet been acted upon. [On] six of those appropriation bills there is no controversy. They have nothing to do with the border wall, they have nothing to do with homeland security.”
One hundred and forty thousand of the impacted federal workers live in the capital region alone, Sen. Cardin explained, and he represents many of them in Maryland’s sprawling suburbs to Washington, D.C.
Federal workers and their families set to miss paychecks tomorrow probably don’t appreciate the Republican Senate leader flippantly saying that Congress has more important things to do than re-open the government, even though there’s an approved House bill pending.
Four GOP Senators facing re-election in Maine, Colorado, West Virginia and Alaska have all publicly said that they’re ready to end the shutdown, giving the body a prospective 51 vote majority to force the issue with the President.
But Sen. Mitch McConnell’s obstruction is a key cog in the GOP’s desperate attempt to keep their party from fracturing and finally ending the Trump Shutdown, even if it takes them overriding the President’s veto.
That’s how the Republicans in Congress continue to coddle the President while federal workers get stiffed like so many contractors and vendors by Trump’s casinos during their frequent bankruptcies.
Here’s the video:
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin asked for a vote to end the #TrumpShutdown.
Senate GOP leader Sen. Mitch McConnell said that the Senate has more important things to do than open the federal government. pic.twitter.com/FdhDmZnnGH
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) January 10, 2019
Watch the complete exchange here via CSPAN: