As the government shutdown drags on for the twelfth day, with government employees still in the dark about when their next paychecks will come in the new year, some Republican congressmen are desperately trying to reach across the aisle to save themselves ahead of the 2020 election.
Cory Gardner (R-CO), a Republican who will once again be running in a blue state, said on Thursday that he will support the funding bill that Congress agrees on and that he believes they should pass a bill without funding for Trump’s wall. As one local Fox affiliate, KDVR, reported during the congressional vote to keep the government open in December, Gardner has never supported funding for a wall at the southern border.
‘Gardner supported a bill to fully fund the government until February 8th however that bill was rejected by the President and House Republicans.’
— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) January 3, 2019
That bill in December was vetoed by President Trump, who is badly in need of a win with multiple scandals around the Russia probe, campaign finance violations, illegal use of charity funds from the Trump Foundation, and alleged illegal dealings by his business, the Trump Organization, coming to light. Although new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer got Congress to agree once on a spending bill, Trump continues to refuse a new one.
Trump has dismissed Pelosi’s plan and said he would look “foolish” for reopening government departments unrelated to the immigration dispute, leaving the new divided Congress opening in a state of remarkable gridlock. Pelosi will also approve legislation reopening the Department of Homeland Security though Feb. 8.
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 3, 2019
Cory Gardner (R-Co) is only Senator in the capitol today as shutdown drags to 10th day
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) December 31, 2018
The speaker can only do so much, however. While Pelosi is set to open the parts of the government that she can, including the Department of Homeland Security, it cannot be passed if the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a Republican running in a red state in 2020, refuses to put it up for a vote.
‘New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is set to pass a package of government funding bills on Thursday evening aimed at reopening the quarter of the government that’s closed and shirking President Donald Trump’s border wall. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he won’t take up the proposals — or anything at all without Trump’s approval.’
NEW: Sen. Cory Gardner, facing tough re-election bid in 2020, says Senate should pass a continuing resolution to open up the government. He's the first Senate Republican to call for ending the shutdown. https://t.co/fS36hcKNai
— Nick Neville (@NickNeville_) January 3, 2019
For now, Gardner stands alone among Republicans who have publicly stated that the shutdown must end and that Trump’s border wall shouldn’t be built. The 2020 elections loom large as the partisan split plays out for political gain while the American people are held hostage in the meantime.