This week, the Democrat-led U.S. House has continued to work on re-opening the federal government, even though President Donald Trump has simultaneously refused to hear out their plans. Still, Thursday, House Democrats passed bills that would re-open agencies including the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture, among other beneficiaries. The bills are resuscitated versions of previously Senate-approved funding provisions that have fallen by the wayside as Trump has continued to insist he won’t approve any funding without billions of dollars for a border wall.
Democrats have come to the literal and metaphorical table time and time again, but Trump has refused to show up for work. Earlier this week, he stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders centering on the ongoing shutdown after they said they weren’t there to confess support for a wall, and this Thursday, he went to the border for events including a roundtable discussion about the supposedly wall-mandating crisis.
In reality, Trump and the Republicans have consistently failed to produce evidence that an extremely expensive, massive, racist eyesore of a vanity project will address problems like crime in the United States.
Still, Democrats keep working. The funding bills they passed this Thursday constituted the second day of similar efforts. On Wednesday, they passed a measure to re-open the Department of the Treasury, and Friday, they’re planning on putting forward a proposal funding agencies including the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. All the measures put forward so far have proceeded with only a modest amount of Republican support, including from twelve in the House this Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has derided the idea of bringing a bill to a vote without assurance the president will actually sign it.
All targeted agencies perform crucial services such as the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance — or food stamps — program carried out at the Department of Agriculture, which only has funding through the end of February, although Trump has insisted he’s willing to have the government remain shutdown for months or even years. If the SNAP program lapses, millions of Americans could be without food, making a real crisis in place of Trump’s claim of one at the southern border.
The MS-13 gang they love to point to was founded in the U.S., which is also where it recruits many of its members. Drugs that are dealt through the border come by and large through legal ports of entry, and presumably, the widely hyped wall won’t cover the literal entire border and force travelers into the air.
Trump has previously suggested he’d completely shut down entrance into the United States from Mexico, but that hasn’t happened — yet, at least. The proposal sits up there with his other looming threats like to declare a national emergency in an effort to use executive power to build the wall. Like many other Trump administration immigration policy moves, that’s deeply legally questionable.
Still, he prefers to see how far he can push the envelope while not only do threats of future trouble from the government shutdown loom, but hundreds of thousands of workers face the prospect of going indefinitely without pay.
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