Trump reportedly stormed out of a White House meeting with Democrats over government shutdown
At Donald Trump rallies, the crowd breaks out into hysterical chants to "build the wall" between the United States and Mexico. However, despite Republicans controlling Congress for two years, the "big, beautiful" wall has yet to built. Aw, man! That's the last time I trust a promise from a twice-divorcée who allegedly hooked up with a porn star just after his third wife Melania gave birth.
You might be wondering, why didn't President Trump do anything about the wall while Republicans had total power? Good question! I suspect it's because many Republicans still claim to be fiscal conservatives, and therefore don't want to fund a $21.6 billion to $70 billion wall. Also, like the Democrats, some R's might think the wall is ineffective, due to the existence of tunnels and ladders and the fact many immigrants enter the US by overstaying their visas.
After the midterm elections, Republicans retained the Senate, while Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives. Realizing the tide is changing, President Trump refused to sign a bipartisan spending bill from Congress because it did not contain border wall funding. As a result, the government partially shut down. 420,000 "essential" federal employees continue to work, and will be paid retroactively when the shutdown ends. Meanwhile, 380,000 federal employees face unpaid time off.
The government shutdown, which President Trump proudly claimed responsibility for, is currently in its 19th day. On Saturday, it will set a record for the longest shutdown in American history. Federal workers are about to miss their first paycheck, which could create real problems with paying the bills and providing for their families. And the longer the shutdown goes, the more effects pile up. Zoos and museums close heir doors; national parks overflow with trash; federal courts run out of funds; TSA workers choose to call in sick rather than work. (That's right, going to the airport might get even worse!)
On Tuesday night, President Trump addressed Americans from the Oval Office and attempted to justify building the border wall. According to the Washington Post, he made several misleading claims: Trump said there's a "growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border," yet apprehension of illegal immigrants has actually fallen, dropping from 1.6 million in 2000 to under 400,000 in 2018. He also said Mexico would pay for the wall through the renegotiated NAFTA / USMCSA trade deal, but trade experts say that's not how that works. In addition, Trump said Democrats requested a steel wall, while there is no evidence of such a request.
On Wednesday, President Trump reportedly stormed out of a White House meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to discuss the shutdown. "Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," he tweeted. "I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"
While speaking to reporters outside the White House, Schumer confirmed Trump’s story. He said that after Pelosi refused to agree to fund the wall, the president walked out of the situation room. "He just got up and he said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss.’ And he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way," said Schumer. He added that Trump "slammed the table" as he left.
A congressional aide familiar with the meeting said Schumer confronted Trump about the human cost of the government shutdown. "You’re using people as leverage," Schumer said. "Why won’t you open the government and stop hurting people?" According to the source, Trump replied, "Because then you won’t give me what I want."
Meanwhile, Pelosi told reporters that Donald Trump, a wealthy man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and a golden spoon, the best spoon, the most tremendous spoons, believe me, doesn't understand real Americans' economic hardship. "The president seems to be insensitive to that. He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money," said Pelosi. "But they can’t. ... If you don’t understand financial insecurity, then you would have a policy that takes pride in saying, ‘I’m going to keep the government shut down for months or years unless you totally agree to my position.'"
Vice President Mike Pence disputed Schumer's of Trump's 'temper tantrum'. "The president walked into the room and passed out candy," he told reporters. "I don’t recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand." (Aw, man! You mean Chuck and Nancy wouldn't give Trump what he wanted even after that delicious candy?!) The veep added that Democratic leaders did not agree with Trump's characterization of a "crisis" at the border.
So, I guess slamming the table and storming out of the room like a little kid who got his Nintendo Switch taken away is "the art of the deal"? Maybe Trump's just mad Chuck and Nancy's response to his Oval Office address got higher ratings. Don't worry, Donald! There's still that border wall GoFundMe campaign!