Legislators from both parties have tabled bills to try and outlaw future government shutdowns as the U.S. federal government starts up again after the longest shutdown in the country’s history.
Both Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Senator Rob Portman have introduced bills aimed at banning future shutdowns, according to the Daily Mail. While it is unclear what chances these bills have of passing, the House Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy, did speak favorably of them in the media this weekend.
McCarthy was speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press. While he didn’t fully endorse either of the bills, McCarthy certainly spoke positively about the motivation behind them.
He is not the only senior Republican politician to be openly critical of the president’s use of a government shutdown to try and secure funding for his border wall.
Senior Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, also appeared on Meet the Press. He said that “shutdowns are not good leverage in any negotiation.” He went on to describe the prospect of using emergency powers to secure funding for the wall as “a terrible idea” and added that “I hope he doesn’t do it.”
He argued that such an approach would result in a long-running legal battle that would place the Trump administration “at the mercy of a district court somewhere and ultimately an appellate court.”
“It doesn’t provide certainty,” the Texan senator continued. “You could very well wind up in sort of a theatric victory at the front end, and then not getting it done… The best way to do it is to have a law passed.”
Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives, also went on Meet the Press to discuss the fallout from the border wall. He described the use of shutdowns as “not legitimate negotiating tactics.”
However, despite the general cross-party consensus that government shutdowns are in no one’s best interest, it seems quite likely that President Trump is willing to go down that path again.
Hi acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney also went on TV this weekend to defend his boss. Mulvaney told CBS’s Face the Nation.
“He is willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border. He does take this very seriously.”
When pressed on whether the president was willing to shut down the federal government again if an agreement with the Democrats in Congress could not be achieved, Mulvaney said, “yeah, actually I think he is.”