Posts tagged with "Government shutdown"

2020 Democratic contenders take Trump to task with State of the Union guests

February 6, 2019

Democratic 2020 contenders are using President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union Address on February 5 to “put a human face” on their points of contention with the current administration, CNN reports.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is bringing a decorated transgender Navy member to the House chambers to view the speech. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has invited a labor leader recently furloughed from his job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And California Senator. Kamala Harris will attend along with a woman who lost her home in a wildfire.

Gillibrand’s guest is Blake Dremann, a transgender Navy lieutenant commander who has been deployed 11 times. The invitation comes after the Supreme Court allowed Trump’s ban on transgender military service to go into effect.

Gillibrand, who battled the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, told CNN that she will introduce legislation in the Senate later this week that would protect transgender Americans’ ability to serve in the military.

Transgender service members like Lieutenant Commander Dremann make extraordinary sacrifices every day to defend our freedom and our most sacred values, and President Trump’s decision to ban them from military service is cruel and undermines our military readiness,” she said in a statement on her official website.

Harris invited Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik, whose home was destroyed in the Thomas wildfire that ravaged Southern California last year. What’s more, during a year of adversities, Pesiri-Dybvik and her husband both work for air traffic control and were furloughed during the government shutdown this year, Harris said.

“Trisha’s story is just one of many stories I heard during the shutdown of Americans whose lives were upended and who faced those difficult days with strength and resilience,” Harris said in a statement on her own Senate website. “Washington needs to hear her story and avoid another harmful shutdown.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s guest is Sajid Shahriar, a HUD staffer and labor leader with roles in both the local American Federation of Government Employees and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

“It’s time to send a message to President Trump and Senate Republicans: federal and contract workers are the backbone of our economy and their livelihoods should never be used as pawns in Republican political games,” Warren said her February 4 statement.

Others considering presidential runs are also using the State of the Union to advance their political priorities.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is taking aim at prescription drug costs, she said on February 1. Her guest is Nicole Smith-Holt, the mother of Alec Raeshawn Smith, a Type 1 diabetic who died from diabetic ketoacidosis because he couldn’t afford his $1,300-a-month insulin prescription.

Highlighting his advocacy for gun control, California Representative Eric Swalwell invited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and gun reform activist Cameron Kasky.

One of the sharpest critics of the Trump administration’s family separations at the US-Mexico border, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, invited mother and daughter Albertina Contreras Teletor and Yakelin Garcia Contreras, age 12, who were separated at the southern border last spring.

This child separation policy came from a dark and evil place within the heart of this administration,” said Merkley in a statement on his official website. “Innocent children suffered because of deeds that were carried out in our names and using our tax dollars as Americans. I’m bringing Albertina and Yakelin as my guests to the State of the Union because we need to bear witness to the suffering that this cruel policy inflicted, and resolve to make sure that nothing like this ever happens in the United States of America again.” 

Research contact: @ericbradner

‘Who’s gonna pay for the wall?’

December 13, 2018

The answer to the question above? Apparently, not Mexico—which was what President Donald Trump repeatedly promised during the 2016 campaign. And probably not Congress either.

During a surreal meeting in the Oval Office on December 11, The New York Times reports, President Donald Trump engaged in an argument in front of reporters with two Democratic leaders, Representative Nancy Pelosi (12th District, California) and Senator Chuck Schumer (New York), over the his own threats to shut down the government unless he gets $5 billion to build a border wall.

During what the news outlet characterized as “an extraordinary public airing of hostilities that underscored a new, more confrontational dynamic in Washington,” the president vowed to block full funding for the government if Democrats refused to allocate money for the wall on the southwestern border, saying he was “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

He repeatedly told Pelosi that he “only need[ed] ten Democratic votes in the House” to pass the funding for the wall. In turn, she replied that he didn’t have the votes—and would not have them in the future.

According to the Times report, the two Democratic leaders took issue with the president’s position and his false assertions about the wall—which he claimed was already under construction—in front of a phalanx of news cameras, imploring him repeatedly to continue the tense conversation without reporters present.

However, the news outlet said, “Trump insisted on a conspicuous clash that undercut Republican congressional leaders and his own staff working to avoid a shutdown at all costs, or at least to ensure that Democrats would shoulder the blame for such a result.”

“If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government — this country needs border security,” Mr. Trump declared as the diatribe unfolded, and Schumer reminded the president repeatedly that he had called several times for a shutdown, appearing to goad him into taking responsibility.

 “You want to know something?” an infuriated Trump  finally said. “I’ll tell you what: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”

“I will take the mantle,” Mr. Trump went on. “I will be the one to shut it down — I’m not going to blame you for it.”

Ultimately, the discussion again raised doubts about whether Trump and the Congress could reach agreement by a December 21 deadline to keep much of the government open, appearing to harden diametrically opposed positions on the wall.

Research contact: @nytimes

90% of Americans support DACA; most oppose border wall

January 19, 2018

Nearly 90% of Americans favor allowing young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to remain here—a federal policy established under President Barack Obama and known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is a view that spans partisan lines, based on results of a survey of 1,225 adults nationwide released on January 18 by CBS News. .

However, the sticking point—one that may lead to a government shutdown as soon as tonight—is the demand of President Donald Trump for financing for the wall he campaigned on, which he believes would stop illegal immigration into the United States from Mexico and other Latin American nations.

Americans remain divided over which issue is worth risking a shutdown of the federal government, the CBS poll has found: Democrats support DACA; Republicans support a wall on the southern border:

  • Most Americans continue to oppose building a border wall, however, 70% of Republicans support it—and 51% of GOP supporters think it worth risking a government shutdown to get it.
  • More than half of Democrats (57%) say it’s worth shutting down the government to have young illegal immigrants stay in-country.

If the wall is ultimately built, 85% of Americans (including majorities across party lines) think that the United States would foot the bill; not Mexico. Most Democrats and Independents are bothered by the possibility of the United States. paying for the wall, but Republicans, two-thirds of whom favor the wall, are not.

On a related issue, CBS News reports, 75% of Americans find the remarks President Trump reportedly made about immigration from Haiti and African countries unacceptable for a President to make, but fewer, 52%, say they are personally bothered by them. Seventy-two percent of Republicans say they are not personally bothered.

Asked which criteria the U.S. should use to admit immigrants, slightly more Americans (47%) prefer that priority be given to people based on their education, job skills, and work experience than people with family members already living here (39%).

Research contact: @Fred Backus

69% of U.S. voters oppose government shutdown

January 17, 2018

President Donald Trump may trigger a government shutdown on Friday night, January 19—viewing the withdrawal of authority for spending on all federal services as an opportunity “to be seen as a political badass by his … base,” according to an opinion piece in the January 15 edition of Forbes magazine.

“Given the various firestorms that have occurred just this past week,” writes Forbes contributor Stan Collender—referring to “the book, the remark about Haiti and African countries and the hush money paid to a porn star”—“Trump may want to reassure his base that he is still very much in charge by refusing to sign even a simple, clean and short-term extension of the current continuing resolution.”

What’s more, the POTUS is still demanding the wall at the border with Mexico that was a driver of his 2016 campaign. The wall is estimated to cost about $21.6 billion and take more than three years to complete, Reuters reports—and it is the one issue that will prompt the Trump base to support the shutdown..

However, the majority of Americans will not be happy about it: Politico and Morning Consult released survey results just before Labor Day showing that 69% of U.S. registered voters said they believed that members of Congress should “take all necessary steps” to stop a shutdown over the federal budget if possible.

Three-quarters of the nearly 2,000 respondents nationwide said a government shutdown would make them “very” or “somewhat” concerned.

However, that’s with the caveat mentioned above. If the shutdown were to impel the U.S. Congress to fund the wall, then Trump’s based will go for it: When reminded about the wall, more than half (51%) of GOP voters said they “strongly” or “somewhat” supported a shutdown.

Stay tuned.

Research contact: eyokley@morningconsult.com