A Quick Synopsis On The US Government Shutdown Which Started On December 22, 2018

Furloughed federal workers protest Trump’s government shutdown Union workers demonstrate against the government shutdown on Jan. 10, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

The following report is a simple time line with context as to how the US government shutdown came to be because of the lack of funding for the republican President Donald Trump’s SW border wall, starting on the 22nd of December 2018.

Most of us “Never Trumpers” have figured out that the republican President Donald Trump has used the funding for his wall as a cultural wedge issue to make it look like he’s fighting hard against immigration in all its forms to please the anti-immigration faction of his base who lean towards also being racist, anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semetic.

The corporate giants, lacking in conscience have jumped on this band wagon. As long as President Trump continues to deliver on their tax cuts, deregulation measures and the appointment of conservative justices, they are behind him. Because these corporate big money donors are a part of the president’s base of supporters, the GOP lawmakers like the GOP US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, keep covering for him.

The president is wanting to declare a National Emergency via the National Emergencies Act of 1976 which allows him to continue to appear to be fighting hard for his US SW wall with his base without him losing it as a political tool. The president’s declaration of a ‘national emergency’ would allow him to spend money for purposes not allocated by Congress even if it’s clear that Congress not only hasn’t authorized money for it but also doesn’t intend to do so. This move will inevitably be challenged in the courts.

In short, President Trump had never wanted to cut a deal with Democrats.

Inquiring minds want to know, how long has the president’s staff been working on preparing for President Trump to resort to the unprecedented move of declaring a “National Emergency” for circumstances that don’t meet the standard of being a true national security crisis?

I can’t wait for a future Democratic Party president to take advantage of this precedent to declare a ‘national emergency’ on issues like gun violence and climate change. I hope republicans are fully aware of the unintended consequences of opening up this ‘Pandora’s box.’

Furloughed federal workers protest Trump’s government shutdown U.S. federal government workers and other demonstrators march during a “Rally to End the Shutdown” in Washington, D.C., Jan.10, 2019. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

On January 10, 2019,  James Fallows of the Atlantic penned the following report, “3 Simple Facts About the Shutdown”

Excerpts:

“We all “know” this is happening. But it can be easy to lose sight of how extraordinary and unfair it is. Not a single person within TSA—or the National Park Service, or the Food and Drug Administration, or the Census Bureau, or any other agency—has a single thing to do with the showdown over Donald Trump’s “wall.” But hundreds of thousands of them are being penalized and disrupted by what will soon be the longest shutdown in history.”

“It can also be easy to lose sight of 3 baseline realities of this abusive situation. Here’s the summary, with a few more details on each, lower down.”

Union workers demonstrate against the government shutdown on Jan. 10, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
  • “Reality one: As recently as 3 weeks ago, Donald Trump was perfectly willing to keep the government open and defer funding for his wall— until a right-wing chorus made fun of him for looking “weak.”
  • “Reality two: Trump and his Congressional party never bestirred themselves to fund this wall back when they had unquestioned power to do so, during the era of Republican control of the Congress in 2017 and 2018.”
  • “Reality three: the U.S.-Mexico border has come under more control in recent years, not less. It’s been controlled by fences and walls in the busiest areas — as has been the practice for decades. The “crisis” is the politics of the issue, not its underlying realities.”
Furloughed federal workers protest Trump’s government shutdown Union members and Internal Revenue Service workers rally outside an IRS Service Center to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Covington, Ky. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)

“A few more details, on facts that everyone knows but that can slip from sight in the froth of “both sides dig in” daily news updates.”

  1. “Donald Trump and the Republican Senate were perfectly willing to keep the government open, until the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh began mocking them as “losers” and “sell-outs.””You can read the specifics at the end of this piece, but the sequence is indisputable. On December 18, Mitch McConnell’s GOP-run Senate passed, on a unanimous voice vote, a “clean” funding measure, to keep the government open and postpone funding fights about “the wall.” They did so with guidance from the White House that Donald Trump would go along.””Then the right-wing mocking began; then immediate funding for the wall became an “emergency”; then Trump preferred a shutdown to appearing to “lose.” Mitch McConnell’s GOP of course switched right along with him—and against the measure all of its members had supported just days ago.””One man’s insecurity, and his party’s compliance, are disrupting millions of lives.”
  2. “During the two years in which Trump and the Republicans could easily have gotten funding for the wall, they didn’t bother to try.””Through all of 2017 and 2018, Trump’s GOP held a large majority in the House, and a workable majority in the Senate. Trump and the GOP took care to ram through things they really cared about in that period, from Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Trump tax cuts.””They didn’t bother to try for a wall. The supposed “emergency”didn’t matter when they had power to get their way. As Ezra Klein has argued, the most plausible explanation is that Trump doesn’t actually care about having a wall. He cares about being seen as fighting for it (as Ronald Brownstein has explained).”
  3. “The number of illegal crossings on the U.S.-Mexico border, like the percentage of undocumented residents and workers in the U.S., has been going down, not up. That’s not the tone of political talk, but it’s what academic and government research shows. For instance, consider this recent report from Pew.””Border security is important, and for decades politicians of both parties have supported fences and walls in populated areas as obvious necessities. When I did a big cover story for The Atlantic on immigration more than 35 years ago—yes, during Ronald Reagan’s first term, in 1983—I visited fences and walls in California, Arizona, and Texas.””Walls themselves aren’t controversial. They’re part of what Republicans and Democrats have long recommended for stable controls at the border—and they’re part of what has made immigrant flows more rather than less manageable. The wall, a fantasized Maginot-style structure stretching 2,000 miles from the Pacific to the Gulf Coast, is different. That’s what Trump is pushing for—now that he no longer has a chance to get it.”

“People obviously disagree on  these issues. You could make a case for a much different approach to immigration than one I personally favor. But it’s hard to imagine a decent case for knowingly inflicting damage on hundreds of thousands of public servants, who have nothing  whatsoever to do with this issue and whose only mistake was to have chosen a vulnerable line of work.”

Link to entire analysis: 3 Simple Facts About the Shutdown

Update: Senate D Floor Watch just tweeted the following on on 1/10/19:

“The Senate passed S.24, the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, to provide compensation to furloughed federal employees, by voice vote.”

2 comments

    • Dear Nan,

      It is so infuriating to see so many good Americans suffering because President Trump has to save face regarding his US SW wall just to please the anti-immigration hard-liners in his base.

      Somehow, I don’t appreciate this reality show. Thanks for your gracious feedback.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

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