As the government shutdown edges ever closer to consuming a second full day, Donald Trump and his Republican-controlled Congress have spent their weekend negotiating with Congressional Democrats to bring the debacle to an end. As CNN reports, Dems are holding out for a comprehensive deal to protect DACA and its associated “dreamers,” while Republicans (and Donald Trump) want a federal budget that includes a big chunk of change earmarked to fund Trump’s notorious Southern border wall, and neither side is budging.
A vote that could end the #TrumpShutown is tentatively scheduled for the earliest hours of Monday morning, and the POTUS (who cancelled his most recent planned trip to Mar-a-Lago so that he could be on hand this weekend) has spent a good amount of time over the last few days tweeting his shutdown thoughts and feelings. Not surprisingly, many of those thoughts and feelings lay the blame for the shutdown (which officially began on on the one-year anniversary of the Trump inauguration) squarely on the shoulders of Capitol Hill Democrats.
According to Donald Trump, who has labeled the current federal government shutdown the
#DemocratShutdown, this weekend’s drama is solely the fault of Democratic lawmakers. In a series of tweets, Trump accuses Dems of wanting a shutdown to “help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts,” of wanting to give him a “nice present” on his inaugural anniversary,” of putting “illegal immigrants” before the U.S. military, and of holding the military hostage, among other things.
In his slew of government shutdown-related tweets, there is one thing that Trump hasn’t done: taken responsibility as POTUS. Back in 2013, however, real estate mogul Donald Trump had a far different theory regarding who in the government is to blame in the event of a shutdown, and his words are coming back to haunt him as his “Inauguration Day anniversary gift” government shutdown refuses to die.
As The Hill reports, Donald Trump is far from the first president to have to deal with a budget-related federal government shutdown. He is, however, the first president in modern U.S. history to face such an issue when the White House, House, and Senate were all controlled by the same political party. Back in 2013, President Obama found himself in the midst of a shutdown as he strove to negotiate with Congressional Republicans devoted to thwarting his agenda, and as the then-POTUS fought to restore functionality to the federal government, Donald Trump made it clear that if the government shuts down, it’s the president who’s at fault, first and foremost.
In a 2013 interview with Fox and Friends, Donald Trump squarely blamed then-President Obama for the current government shutdown, and presidents in general for any and all shutdowns of the federal government. The folks at Morning Joe brought the change in Trump’s tune to the public’s attention when they shared the video of Trump’s words coming from his own mouth on social media on Friday.
“They’re not going to be talking about who was the head of the House, the head the Senate, who’s running things in Washington. So I really think the pressure is on the president.”
As GQ reports, his Fox and Friends comments blasting Obama and presidents in general as responsible for government shutdown situations weren’t the only time Donald Trump talked about who’s to blame when the federal government comes screeching to a halt. In an October 2013 interview with Greta Van Susteren, Trump also pinned the bull’s eye directly on Barack Obama after Van Susteren asked him what he would do to resolve the government shutdown problem if he were President.
“Well, very simply, you have to get everybody in a room. You have to be a leader. The president has to lead. He’s got to get [the Speaker of the House] and everybody else in a room, and they have to make a deal. You have to be nice, and be angry, and be wild, and cajole, and do all sorts of things. But you have to get a deal.”
“Unfortunately, [Barack Obama] has never been a dealmaker. That wasn’t his expertise before he went into politics. And it’s obviously not his expertise now. But you have to get the people in the room, and you have to get a deal that’s good for everybody and good for the country.”
Now that he is the President of the United States, however, Donald Trump has been unwavering in his blame of Congressional Democrats for the government shutdown that began in the early hours of Saturday morning and appears poised to continue until America’s deeply divided and polarized Congress is willing to compromise on a long-term budget deal.
Congress has remained in session throughout the weekend, and several Congressional leaders, including Republican Lindsey Graham, claim that they will likely be able to garner enough Democratic support to pass a short-term funding plan that would re-open the federal government and keep it running until February 8.
“I think there will be a breakthrough tonight. If there’s going to be one, it’ll be tonight.”
Such a solution will only be stop-gap, however, and the federal government will face more instability and the potential for further shutdowns under the leadership of Donald Trump if the POTUS can’t bring both sides of the aisle together in a room and make a deal, an ability he touted when blasting Barack Obama in 2013.