INTEL REPORT--As President Trump’s government shutdown enters its 19th day, some high profile Republicans are beginning to break ranks. Many on the left have seen the shutdown as unnecessary, as President Trump is refusing to drop his demand for his ineffective, unpopular, and costly wall ($5.7 billion) to end a crisis at the border of his own making.
House Democrats have already passed the bill without border wall funding the Senate unanimously passed, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now refusing to put the bill on the floor since Trump is refusing to compromise. But time is running out, as some on the right are coming to terms with the political toxicity of carrying on this shutdown. (Photo above: President Donald Trump, center, meets with Republican senators in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June27, 2017. Seated with him, from left, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
- Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), who is up for reelection in 2020 in a purple state, was the first GOP Senator to call for an end to the shutdown without money for the border wall. Last Thursday, Gardner said: “I think we should pass a continuing resolution to get the government back open. The Senate has done it last Congress, we should do it again today.”
- Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)told reporters on Tuesday, “The operations of the Department of Interior and the National Park Service or the operations of the IRS and whether or not tax refunds go out don’t have anything to do with border security. So let’s bifurcate these issues. Let’s set them aside. Let’s allow for the operations, these governmental functions in these six other departments, allow for them to continue… I think we can walk and chew gum.”
- Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)joined the chorus, saying she can live with reopening the government without border wall funding, adding, “I think certainly I have expressed more than a few times the frustrations with a government shutdown and how useless it is. That pressure is going to build.”
- Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a known critic of President Trump, told reporters, “I think it’s important for us to complete the border wall … at the same time, I want to see government open again. A lot of people are hurting and more people will be hurting if we don’t get the government open.”
- Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), whose 2020 reelection bid looks uncertain, has said that the Senate should vote on individual spending bills to reopen the government. But, as the Kavanaugh hearings showed, initial positive comments are hardly a guarantee with Collins.
- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)signaled that he’d consider voting for a resolution that opened “specific agencies” without border wall funding.
- Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican who represents the 23rd district along the border, was one of the few House Republicans who votedfor the Democrats effort to reopen the government without money for the border wall. Hurd has called for the government to be reopened, stating “If this is a crisis, the people dealing with this crisis should get paid.”
- Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16)has also signaled an openness to ending the shutdown without border wall funding, telling CNN‘s Manu Raju: “I’m going to look at each bill on the merits of their own… If they’re clean and good bills, I’ll look at them on the individual merits as opposed to any kind of political leverage issue.”
It’s also important to note that Rep. Will Hurd, as well as the other 8 Representatives of a border district, does not support Trump’s effort to build the wall.
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(Ahmed Baba is Co-Founder and COO/Editor-in-Chief of Rantt Media … where this piece originated. Writer of Unpresidented, Ahmed has documented and analyzed every day of the Trump presidency. His work has been mentioned in The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, The Telegraph, Blavity, and more. )