Donald Trump is now taking fire from members of his own party as the government shutdown continues, with one Republican Congressman saying the president is “incapable” of articulating his plan for border security and unable to bring an end to the shutdown.
The shutdown had already become the longest in American history and continues with no end in sight as Trump continues to demand funding for a border wall and has shown little willingness to compromise with Democrats. Congressman Charlie Dent, a Republican from Pennsylvania, now seems to agree. Dent said on Sunday that there’s an “easy path forward” to end the government shutdown, but Trump is incapable of taking that road.
“He is incapable of articulating a plan to establish operational control of the border, which is far more expansive than just simple barriers or walls,” Dent said in an interview on CNN (via Newsweek).
Dent added that Trump’s own rhetoric is not helpful, and others noted that his shoot-from-the-hip style has led to the majority of the blame falling on himself for the shutdown. Trump had said in a televised meeting with Democratic leaders that he alone would shut down the government and would take credit for it, but he changed course after the shutdown started and blamed Democrats.
Democrats have pounded home that point, with Nancy Pelosi even posting a video on Sunday of Trump making the promise to shut down the government.
Trump: "I am proud to shut down the government…"
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 20, 2019
Trump had also repeatedly claimed that he would make Mexico pay for the wall, but recently tried to backtrack those promises, saying he never said Mexico would make a direct payment (despite releasing a full plan during the 2016 campaign of how he would force Mexico to make a direct payment for it).
Dent, who has a history in working on border security issues, said he believes there would be an easy way to find a compromise supported by both Democrats and Republicans
“I was one of the original co-sponsors of the Security Fence Act of 2016, so I know a little bit about this issue,” Dent said.
“I think there’s an easy path forward here for both sides to come to an agreement. It’s a tragedy that we’ve had to go through a government shutdown all these days to get to this point.”
“This isn’t that hard.”
NEW —> Trump two years in: The dealmaker who can’t seem to make a deal
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) January 20, 2019
Donald Trump has floated the idea of declaring a national emergency to secure the funding needed to start construction on the border wall.