Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Democrats are set to pass a set of bills in the House to reopen U.S. federal government agencies shut down by president Donald Trump in a fit of pique for not getting the $5.6 billion to fund a border wall he always bragged Mexico would pay for.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) intends to begin passing individual bills to reopen federal agencies over the next few days. Democrats are expected to first fund the opening of the Department of the Treasury to ensure people receive their tax refunds.
For some inane reason, Trump now demands the Democrat-controlled House assign over $5.6 billion to build his wall with Mexico. The Democrats have stoutly refused, calling the wall immoral and ineffective.
Trump’s shutdown enters Day 18 today and shows no signs of an early resolution. The current shutdown is the third under Trump — and is now the longest.
Repeated attempts to reach a compromise have failed due to Trump’s insistence on first getting the $5.6 billion. In the latest talks to end the shutdown, a Trump delegation led by vice-president Mike Pence began the proceedings by demanding the $5.6 billion from the get-go, which led to the immediate failure of the talks.
Trump will address the American people in a prime time address tonight. He is expected to offer no concessions while blaming Democrats for the shutdown he bragged he would be proud to own.
In a televised brawl with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Dec. 11, Trump boasted, “If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government.”
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down,” said Trump.
True to his word, Trump partially shut down the federal government on Dec. 22. His action, which he could have avoided, means more than a quarter of the government has been closed since. More than 800,000 workers are either furloughed or are working without pay.
Trump has since promised to continue the shutdown for months, even years, until he gets what he wants. To save face, Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency “depending on what happens in the next few days.”
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