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Record shutdown is a massive Washington failure

Now he has another historic notch on his belt, the longest ever state suspension – a stalemate marking a new low for Washington dysfunction.

The dispute triggered by Trump's billions of dollars to finally succeed in unfulfilled campaign promises – to build a boundary wall – began so long ago that Republicans had a monopoly on Washington power. The democratic takeover of the House has deepened the link, and with some side willing to fold, almost 22 days in, there is still no end in sight.

The past three weeks have exposed the lack of empathy of a billionaire president shrugs by federal workers struggle working paychecks to paychecks. Trump is obviously more concerned about a pet policy project than his constitutional role in providing governance to all Americans.

But he is not alone in his obligation. The Republican led Senate does nothing to offer the president a face-saving way out. And while the House Democrats are going through the movements to pay bills to resume government, they do not seem to do much else to break logy. Before Trump was president, party leaders had at least been open to funding a frontier barrier as part of wider immigration legislation.

Trump urged party leaders Friday to return to Washington and vote for a wall, an obstacle or whatever they want to call it ̵

1; even "peaches".

"Here I ask the Democrats to come back to Washington and to vote for money for the wall, the barrier, whatever you want to call it, is fine with me," said the president under a white house round table on immigration.

"They can name it at all. They can call it" peaches. "I don't care what they are called. But we need money for that barrier," he added.

The Stalemate represents an important first battle between Trump and his democratic enemies in Washington's new era of shared government.

But every battle has a sacrifice. And right now, there are 800,000 government workers who feel insulted, forgotten and anxious about rents, mortgages, car payments and medical bills that pill up.

While worried nothing happens in Washington this weekend. In fact, congress members who are paid are suspended for Monday.

They may notice when they fly home as the country's transport system is under load. Many of these TSA agents who keep travelers safe work without pay. An airport in Tampa opens a food bank for employees.

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"I would ask both congresses, I would ask the US the people to look and understand the federal workers, we have a face – we have families, "Jacqueline Maloney, a federal worker whose paycheck did not come on Friday, told CNN's Brooke Baldwin in an emotional interview.

"We can be a neighbor, your best friend, your best friend's mother, your aunt, your cousin. We are everywhere."

Government shutdowns usually end when the political leaders are caught in standoff calculating that the political damage caused by standing companies is beginning to consider embarrassment for a climb.

With stories of anger and deprivation of the government wo rkers firmly in a terrible situation beyond their control now dominant news coverage, that point can come closer.

However, none of the pages show any signs of cracks yet.

It's on Trump

But for Trump there had been no shutdown. The president, apparently fearing a setback in conservative media, refused to keep the government open before Christmas, if he didn't get the money.

In the past week, Trump has tried a series of political stunts to try to shift the debt. He gave an oval office address. He stormed out of conversations with democratic leaders. He flew Air Force One to the limit to paint an erroneous picture of hordes of criminals and murderers pouring into the country.

"The only way you will stop is with a very powerful wall or steel barrier," said Trump at the White House on Friday.

Now, when looking for taxpayer money to build a wall that he promised Mexico would pay for, the president offers the factual claims already made by the US neighbor – not yet ratified new trade deals.

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Through some conventional action, Trump is obliged to put his own political ego over the interests of the Americans that he leads. For all the power of his campaign track rhetoric among followers, he has not moved the political needle at all. He seems oblivious to the fact that in a divided government, a president cannot just demand what he wants.

Trump's supporters argue that there is a real crisis on the border and, as "false news", notice an argument that a wall along the border with Mexico may not be the best way to deal with drug trafficking and balloon asylum claims.

The weight has actually become an emotional center for Trump's relationship with his political base – and such a symbol of antipathy to the president of those who oppose him – that it has become an insoluble problem.

And state workers pay the price.

"The reason is that there is no excuse for the political stunt just because the president had undertaken when he ran for office and beyond," said Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, in a CNN interview.

"He can't get it done and deliver to his constituency. He should just stand up and say I tried and let's move on to the next thing," said id Bloomberg, a possible 2020 democratic presidential candidate. "There is no question or a constituency. The president has not been elected to be a representative of a party or a small group, he would be representative of an entire country."

So far, Trump has kept his threats to declare a national emergency and reprogram Pentagon funds – possibly from disaster relief projects in Puerto Rico and Texas – to fund his wall.

Such a step can let him explain a victory that most people think is hollow. He might be able to sell his followers to a battle in the courts after a nearly certain legal challenge and reap the political capital.

But it would also be a fundamental confusion of constitutional governance, as a future president made difficult by Congress to fulfill its core task of deciding how to spend taxpayers' money could choose to pursue a favorite policy project regardless.


The failure of Congress to lift the deadlock has abolished some of its most honorable members.

"How can we solve this?" We owe it to the American people. "This is like a circus," said Republican later Richard Shelby in Alabama earlier this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, once talked that "I'm the guy who gets us out of shutdowns", has been a ghostly presence.

McConnell has refused to act on democratic house bills to open various authorities, as Trump does not agree to sign them.

Currently, McConnell has no desire to open cracks in the Republican coalition by breaking with a president who has exploited his devoted base to punish any dissidents in his party.

However, there may come a time when clear discomfort among some GOP members, such as Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Alaska's late Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, starting to make life uncomfortable for McConnell.

  Cracks that arise among Senate Republicans that Murkowski requires end of suspension

The bitterness of the suspension policy has also revealed a hypocrisy sitting on both sides of the aisle in this crack political age.

In 2016, the Republican later signed Lindsey Graham on an amicus card in a Supreme Court challenging President Barack Obama's use of executive power to protect the recipients of deferred action for children's arrival programs from expulsion.

The document complained that Obama's movement was an attempt to replace Congress's power and a threat to the constitutional principle of separation of powers. These standards seem to be less important to South Carolinian now, as Trump is in the White House.

"Mr President, explain a national emergency NOW. Build a wall NOW," Graham tweeted on Friday after meeting Trump.

Part of Graham's frustration stems from his conviction that Democrats are hypocrites for refusing to consider the political surveillance policies they have favored in the past.

Last year, the Democrats and the White House saw close to an agreement that would have given Trump $ 25 billion in border security as opposed to a path to citizenship for DACA recipients – proven migrants illegally brought to the United States as a child.

Trump eventually pulled out of the deal.

The idea of ​​border cutting or a wall in some areas has not been so radioactive for democrats before.

In 2006, the Democrats now included Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted to authorize a safe fence along about 700 miles from the US-Mexico border.

The project was far from the concrete or steel wall that Trump thought.

However, given the symbolic strength of the thought of a wall, it is not clear Democrats – who do not want their first action in the majority of the House to be a concession to Trump, would consider such a plan today.

"A wall is an immorality," speaker Nancy Pelosi said this week.

CNN's Liz Stark contributed to this report.

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