The shutdown has now lasted long enough to lose count of the days. Federal employees are finally missing paychecks, and if it continues, there’s a chance it can cause real harm to the country. While that’s happening, you’ve been told by virtually every news source in the world that this is 100 percent President Trump and only Trump’s fault. That’s wrong. Here’s the proof.
The TV Broadcast
The primary reason Trump is being blamed for this shutdown is because the media blames him for everything. Tons of people have specific excuses, but you know that they’re just that. No matter what, mainstream media is going to blame Trump for any and all things that happen and crucify him at every opportunity. That said, this particular round of blame is a little trickier to dismiss.
The reason goes back to a meeting President Trump had with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in December. That meeting took place before the shutdown actually began, and President Trump told Schumer that he would gladly own the shutdown if it would lead to us finally getting border security.
Since this entire meeting was televised, that clip has been used to put the blame entirely at President Trump’s feet. For extra points, the clip is edited to destroy context and make it seem as if President Trump was genuinely accepting sole responsibility for the situation.
How the Government Actually Works
Within his own branch, the President has quite a bit of say about the discretionary spending of funds. Anything under his purview is subject to his will, and President Trump has tried to use that power to do many things in the past two years. He’s even looking for ways to use his authority to pay for the wall without going through Congress.
So far, that hasn’t worked, and there are clear reasons why. The federal budget is determined solely by Congress. More importantly, they can only pass a budget as a new bill. That means it has to get through both the House and Senate. If it does, the one thing the president can do is veto the bill. If it still passes with a two-thirds majority, it becomes law regardless of the opinion of the president.
Here’s the thing with this current shutdown. No bill has made it to President Trump’s desk. In fact, none of the bills have even been voted on by the Senate. The House has pushed a few through, but none of them included any amount of compromise or negotiation. The Democrat majority simply slammed through a bill that they knew couldn’t get through the Senate. They did it to try and shift the blame.
That said, the Senate isn’t blameless in this shutdown. They haven’t approved any budget bills, and that makes it mechanically impossible for us to fund the government. They have offered a few compromises, but so far it’s been about as minimal as what we’ve seen from the left.
The one thing we can say with certainty is that President Trump has actually had no authority whatsoever in this shutdown. That could change, but right now he’s as much at fault as any other citizen of the country.
So, Who Should We Blame?
If you’ve already picked a side, you’re unlikely to be moved. People can argue with you until they’re blue in the face and it won’t matter. If you’re being a little more neutral and nonpartisan, you can admit that both sides carry at least some blame. You can even argue that Mitch McConnell has denied voting on bills that he is sure can’t be passed. That makes things even murkier.
But, if we boil it all down, the arguments from each side are not equal. The entire fight is over $5.7 billion for border security. Included in that sum is roughly $1 billion to improve facilities and resources for processing immigrant families and children.
That the Democrats are flat-out denying this funding is proof that they aren’t standing on principles. If any Democrat in Congress held to any ideal at any point in their career, this funding would have been approved immediately. It’s a no-brainer. This stalemate only exists so the Democrats can try to make President Trump look bad.
That’s the most important thing to remember here. President Trump actually can’t determine the federal budget. Even his limited power in the conversation has played no part in this shutdown. The Democrats are denying us a secure border, keeping paychecks from hundreds of thousands of Americans and basically holding the country hostage.
Their only motivation to do these things is to try to keep President Trump from keeping a reasonable promise. They would rather see you starve and lose your house than President Trump be able to say he got the Democrats to negotiate. That’s the level of evil we’re facing, and it controls the House of Representatives.