The recent maneuvering by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is some of the sleaziest and most cowardly DC politics imaginable. These so-called GOP leaders now stand directly in the way of President Donald Trump’s ability to beat the Democrats in Congress, after his unequivocal message about the impending government shutdown, over funding for the border wall.
Not only do Americans support this wall, our own GOP Senators do. In August Paul Ryan tweeted out a photo of him on horseback with Border Patrol officers in Rio Grande Valley, Texas advocating support for border agents through the building of the wall, promising to get it done ‘this week’.
Just over a month later, however, Ryan has a different tune. Now, he says they need more time. Along with his sidekick Mitch McConnell, he attempted to get an 18 month debt ceiling increase to get them past the next election. Now he’s using the tried and true tactic of congressmen unwilling to get things done – asking for more time.
Senators McConnell and Ryan planned to use the power the American people have given them to undercut the President’s negotiating position on the shutdown.
“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” Ryan said.
Most people? How dare he talk about what most people want, when most people voted for President Trump who had a very clear message about how the government should run. Was he not paying attention when Trump would stand in front of thousands of voters and promise that he was going to build a wall? Of course, this is about much more than just the wall. The debt ceiling allows us to negotiate spending cuts, fiscal reforms, and other much-needed change. Their inactivity caused all of that to get pushed back, delayed, and stalled.
The President knows that the people want to reform Washington DC. Even though he’s not a career politician, the President circumvented these spineless GOP Congressional leaders who are unwilling to make the hard choices required to actually save this country. They are more concerned with saving their seats.
Taking advantage of the fact that Democrats want to avoid the political suicide of tying up the disaster relief funding after Hurricane Harvey, Trump turned the tables on the equivocating Republicans. Instead of accepting their excuses, he cut a deal with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for an extension – an extension that requires revisiting this issue in December.
The Wall Street Journal said that Trump’s cooperation with the Democrats on a short-term solution “stunned” the GOP, the Washington Post said he “confounded” them. Here’s the bottom line: Republicans tried to impede the President, and they just got burned. Of course, this is not a great result from Republican leadership, the President, or the Democrats. Republicans should’ve had the guts to have this fight right now. Delaying only gives more leverage to the Democrats, but this short-term deal seems to be the best we can do after the GOP failed to deliver, after intentionally and publicly undermining the President and the American people. Again.
I like to imagine Ryan and McConnell’s faces when they heard the President describe his deal with “Chuck and Nancy.” Hopefully, this sends them the message that Republican leadership in Congress needs to help the President, not weaken him. Rep. Ryan, you need to do more than tweet out a photo of you on a horse. You need to saddle up and do what’s right for the American public.