Government Shutdown

Two Proposals To End the Government Shutdown Just Failed in the Senate

The shutdown rolls on, with no obvious solution in sight.

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John Greim/Newscom

Parts of the federal government will remain closed after two proposals to re-open the government failed on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon.

A plan backed by Democrats that would have funded the government for two weeks without including $5.7 billion for President Donald Trump's border wall received 51 votes—short of the 60 required in the Senate to avoid a filibuster. Even if it had passed, it may have faced a veto by Trump.

Separately, a Republican-backed proposal to fund the government and Trump's wall received just 50 votes, with several Republicans voting against the proposal. That plan would have increased borrowing by about $20 billion to find the border wall and spend $12.8 billion on disaster relief, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Even if it had passed, it would have faced an uncertain future in the Democrat-controlled House.

And so the shutdown rolls on.

Thursday's votes provide a nice illustration of the dilemma facing Congress as the government shutdown reached its 34th day. It's impossible for either party to get a funding bill through the Senate without bipartisan support, and there does not appear to be enough bipartisan support for much of anything at the moment. Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.V.) was the only Democrat to cross party lines and support Trump's border wall, and the six Republicans who backed the Democratic proposal were not enough to push it over the line.

Trump's efforts at blaming House Democrats for the shutdown—a shutdown that he said last month would be his responsibility—are only going to make it more difficult to reach any compromise that could pass the Senate.

The next attempt to reach a breakthrough is expected to come from the House, where Democratic leaders are reportedly prepping a bill that would spend $5.2 billion on border security—mostly high-tech options like drones and cameras—without granting permission for Trump to build a physical wall.

Trump has rejected that idea. On Thursday, he wrote on Twitter that "very simply, without a Wall it all doesn't work."

That's the other complicating factor. Even if a compromise to reopen the government could find a path through Congress, it may face a veto from Trump—who has spent this week embarking on a misleading effort to turn his border wall proposal into a rhyming slogan. There's not much in the way of an obvious solution to all this, short of Trump backing down.

While political gridlock is almost always entertaining, the current shutdown has done nothing to actually reduce the federal government's power or cost. If anything, the shutdown is likely to swing public sentiment towards bigger government, since each passing day brings new stories of how the shutdown is creating hardships for public employees in a variety of ways.

But the ongoing shutdown does create opportunities for finding ways to get government out of areas where it really shouldn't be in the first place. Like air traffic control, for example. Or the completely unnecessary agency within the Department of Treasury that's supposed to approve the labels that go on beer bottles. Regardless of how the shutdown eventually shakes out, one can hope that the past month has at least highlighted a few ways in which government's involvement in everyday life is problematic—not just when the government is running, but when it's stopped too.

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  1. And nothing of value was lost…

  2. I would have voted for the one that included $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.

    1. The Disciples of Crusty add another member to its ranks.

    2. FoE, Professor of Pervarts.

  3. What? Me worry?

  4. But the ongoing shutdown does create opportunities for finding ways to get government out of areas where it really shouldn’t be in the first place.

    Or, here on planet earth, it will highlight those government services that we liked, took for granted, and now miss.

    I’m sure we’re all very grateful that the emperor has clothes., but what he doesn’t have is any expertise on immigration policy. He has a simple-minded campaign promise given to him as a mnemonic device so he’d have something to remember to make his idiot followers clap on command whenever they were getting bored at his nonsensical droning.

    Adding to the layers of absurdity is the fact that, while Trump is obsessed with his own poll numbers, he simply ignores the ones that make him feel bad, so he’s probably not even noticing that he’s in the 30s as a result of this nonsense.

    1. Which service are you currently missing?

      1. He’s serviced by government?

        Another thing to cut.

      2. NPC update service, but CNN’s trying to replace that.

    2. Except that most of the government is already funded, and that of the parts that aren’t, the jobs that are actually essential are still being done.

      In short, the worst of the problems are being covered up by federal employees doing their job without getting a paycheck. All the stuff that isn’t being done is the stuff that isn’t essential.

      1. ” the jobs that are actually essential are still being done.”

        The 13th amendment keeps that from being a long-term solution.

        1. We could force convicted criminals to do the jobs

          1. Aren’t they already doing these jobs?

            1. It seems you missed the word “convicted”.

          2. “We could force convicted criminals to do the jobs”

            Great idea. You can learn air traffic control in the Big House, right?

    3. And here on planet earth, we have a party that doesn’t want to pay the furloughed people:

      https://thehill.com/homenews/ house/425858-house-rejects-gop-measure- to-pay-workers-but-not-open-government

      1. Thank god! It’s time government flunkies aren’t treated like entitled bitches.

    4. Its not so much about missing services that you liked, but rather all the things the government forced itself into, saying “You can’t do this anymore without our permission” that they now won’t give permission for. Approving new beers is one that came up a week or so ago

      1. Why is that a function of govt? If it’s a shitty beer, no one willbiu it and it goes away on its own.

        1. That beer company is completely dickless.
          “Better to ask forgiveness than permission.” (Or something along those lines. Also, probably don’t try this with women… even though it worked brilliantly in Revenge of the Nerds)
          The company should print their labels and sell beer. The regulatory agency can’t do anything at the moment, and after the shutdown ends will either let it slide or try to impose a penalty. If they try to impose a significant penalty, the beer company can take them to court and might have a decent shot at winning.
          Fn pussies would rather whine than do what Americans built the country doing.

          1. Most people are not willing to risk their livelihood and probably life savings knowing that while the administrative bureaucracies are shut down, the law enforcement wings of these agencies are “essential services” and still functioning

          2. The thing is, DIFFERENT regulators can come knocking.

            Hi, we’re from SEC. We understand you bet a billion-dollar business on whether or not putting out your labels during the shutdown would be OK. We think your fiduciary duties should have kept you from doing so. You have any comment, before we strip you of your ability to work as an executive in a publicly-held corporation for the next ten years?

        2. Because the government decided it was a function of government. Shitty or not the company is not allowed to sell it until some bureaucrat gives a stamp of approval

  5. *Holds fingers in a steeple formation*
    Excellent..

  6. Someone sent me a conspiracy theory podcast that claimed extended shutdown was really about Trump 1) showing the amount of FedGov we don’t really need is enormous, and 2) starving out FedGov employees until they quit to shrink the size of Leviathan.

    This seems far fetched to me, even if you buy into Trump being a 14th dimensional chessmaster.

    1. Either that or he’s a demented manchild who wants his toy. It’s not like his entire history way back to childhood indicates this type of personality.

      1. So hes a politician. Got it

        1. So if your thesis is that all politicians are as mentally ill as Donald Trump, that must include the politicians Ron and Rand Paul, yes?

          1. Politicians in general are people who seek power and will compromise their ideals to garner power. Do you have another question?

            1. I compromise my ideals to make a paycheck every day. Don’t you, or are you incorruptible?

              Assuming all politicians are scum is how we get scum politicians.

              1. I chose a profession that doesnt cause me to compromise my ideals. I dont lie. I dont do thing I think are wrong. Most professions are like this. Not sure why you think most employment requires this.

                1. He leads a sad and desperate life.

                  1. My guess os Tony things hard work is bad. That’s why it compromises his ideals. It’s why be so hardcore socialist.

                    1. I find the idea of being forced to show up to an office to work to make someone else money vulgar. Alas, I cannot afford the Edwardian country house lifestyle to which I am entitled.

                    2. Tony disapproves of mutually consensual agreements so that two parties can have their wants met.

                      Tony prefers using force to make somebody else meet his needs.

                    3. So I was right. You dont believe in hard work. If you are against working for others create your own business shit for brains. Working hard for an exchange of goods is not immoral you socialist fuck.

                    4. Hard work is for robots.

              2. tomy, if he had a D after his name you would worship Trump. Your progtarded masters would decree it so.

    2. Seems to be the most likely scenario.

    3. No, Trump’s not that smart.

  7. I have a new proposal.

    The coyote people smugglers are the issue and we need to get to the root of it.

    A simple inexpensive barrier, does not have to be tall, would work. Maybe a bit bigger than those things on the highway.

    Here is the trick. On the Mexican side you get some black paint and paint a tunnel.

    The coyote will rush toword it and SMASH*#%^#*!

    Once we eliminate the coyotes the problem will go away. We could take the wall down and use the materials for other useful things, like anvils.

    1. *narrows gaze*

    2. “does not have to be tall, would work”

      The problem being that passenger jets can cross the border at 30,000 feet. Unless your wall is that tall, it doesn’t work.

  8. And I’m still not giving a fuck about those poor federal workers. Life hasn’t changed. Just proving how little feds actually do.

    1. Life hasn’t changed because some federal workers are still on the job. If all weren’t, then you’d see some changes.
      So, how about a bill to 1)pay all those essentials still working and 2)terminate all those furloughed?

      1. Trump could actually start terminating them as of last Sunday. 30 day threshold has been hit. The reason I dont feel it is because feds do very little the effects my day to day life other than make shit more expensive though needless regulatory boards. The state governments, closer to the people, have far more interactions day to day. The feds not so much. That was by design. Unfortunately at some point liberals realized they cant control 50 independent states so now seek common powers at the fed. You could cut the fed in half and most people wouldn’t notice.

        1. And yet, he didn’t start terminating them. A pity. You can be sure THAT would have gotten the Democrats’ attention.

          1. He may be waiting for the optics of attempted compromise. Who knows. Or he can fire them all right before signing the agreed to bill.

            1. That would certainly be amusing.

              1. Start executing the hostages, Trump.
                Then build the wall.

                1. Remember… not providing people with federal jobs is the same as murdering them. What an asinine statement nardz

                  1. He’s on your side, there, Jess.

    2. You don’t understand. The purpose of government is to employ government workers. If they have to find other jobs, we will have failed as a people.

  9. Kind of goes to show that Trump’s problem is not that he can’t negotiate with Democrats. It’s that he can’t negotiate with anyone. There just isn’t the majority, in the House or the Senate, to fund his wall. Opposition is bipartisan.

    1. So Trump is correct?
      If scumbags have come together to oppose him, he must be on to something.
      On the other hand, your blinders may have caused you to miss the fact that Pelosi and Schumer are refusing, or utterly unable, to negotiate at all.

      1. Aha.

        Somebody just threw out the rule book.

      2. How *dare* you claim Pelosi is unable to negotiate!

        1. Pelosi isn’t even IN the Senate.

    2. Trump’s problem is basically that the Republican party spent decades running a bait and switch scam on their voters, and Trump comes along wanting to deliver what they were promised. And “his” party establishment wants to keep the scam going.

    3. I suspect Trump is willing to settle for funding for part of wall and he’s willing to give dreamers a three year pass to get it. The reason I think Trump is willing to settle for that is because that’s what he’s offered.

      What has Pelosi offered? Anything?

      When you say Trump can’t negotiate with anyone, I suspect you mean that he’s not willing to capitulate to Pelosi, which isn’t really “negotiating” at all.

      P.S. Trump’s renegotiation of NAFTA must be a figment of my imagination.

      1. ” that’s what he’s offered.”

        If only you could count on Trump to keep his word, that might mean something.

        1. The 1986 amnesty called and Democrats are finally agreeing to fulfill their border security promises. Fuck off.

        2. “If only you could count on Trump to keep his word, that might mean something.”

          Trump promised to leave recreational marijuana alone at the state level, and that’s what he did.

          Trump promised to renegotiate NAFTA, and that’s what he did.

          Trump promised to give the Chinese hell over trade, and that’s what he did.

          Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris accords, and that’s what he did.

          Trump promised to withdraw from Obama’s Iran deal, and that’s what he did.

          You may not like Trump’s promises. I don’t like many of them. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t kept his word.

          Even now, he’s fighting like hell to keep a promise to build a border wall. He offered Pelosi a deal that would let him keep that promise.

          What has Pelosi offered? Has Pelosi offered anything?

          The correct answer is “no”.

          1. There is nothing to offer that Orange Baboon in chief…he is a public disgrace and everyone who wants to throw away 5.7 billion in taxpayer dollars (which republicans claim we dont have)is also a disgrace. Trump and his minions of mindless drudge have completely screwed this country over. The people Trumps wants to pay for his wall are the seniors on social security and medicare…These are the folks who are getting the bill for that useless wall. How many of you have parents or grandparents on social security? You ready the throw them under the bus to appease the Orange Fuhrer.

          2. Trump recites planks from the Gee-Oh-Pee platform–including faith-based bombings, confiscations and prohibition laws. The only seriously different plank in the Dem platform is using a Carbon Tax to accelerate the de-industrialization of everything except communist China. That plank is the law of the land in Anschluss Europe, but not These Sovereign States and Dominions… at least not yet.

          3. “Trump promised to leave recreational marijuana alone at the state level, and that’s what he did.”

            Unless you count making a stridently-anti-marijuana dude to be the Attorney General relevant.

            “You may not like Trump’s promises. I don’t like many of them. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t kept his word.”

            Trump promised to “own” the shutdown. A promise he kept for, what 3 or 4 seconds or so?

            1. “Trump promised to leave recreational marijuana alone at the state level, and that’s what he did.”

              Unless you count making a stridently-anti-marijuana dude to be the Attorney General relevant.”

              ** Yeah, the Feds have been rounding up pot smokers by the hundreds!!!

              Oh, wait….

  10. “very simply, without a Wall it all doesn’t work.”

    “very simply, you can’t spell ‘a Wall’ without ‘all’.”

  11. If there’s anything to learn from this exercise, it’s that Trump isn’t Pelosi’s only hurdle. Whatever it is Pelosi wants*, it not only has to get Trump’s approval. It also needs to gain the approval of the Republicans in the Senate.

    *What Pelosi wants beyond trying to prevent Trump from keeping a campaign promise is anybody’s guess. She wants to keep throwing her temper tantrum, but beyond that? Is she willing to keep the government shut down until Trump and the Republicans in the Senate give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens? If that’s what Pelosi wants, she should say so–if she dares. I doubt she has the guts to say that out loud, but does she expect Trump and the Republican Senate to just give that to her without her asking for it?

    1. I don’t think she really has a plan.
      She’s a dingbat, and can’t conceive of a world where the Rs don’t completely capitulate due to media/propaganda and lobbyist pressure.
      She kept waiting for it to happen, week after week, but it didn’t.
      Now she’s in a hole and I don’t think she knows what to do.
      We have to remember, life for like 99% of these politicians has been easy, especiallythe Ds. For most, they haven’t even had to face a competitive campaign in decades.
      Pelosi is used to getting what she wants with little more effort than the appearance of tough words.
      Remember the last time she faced pressure? “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.”
      And that was 10 years of physical and mental decay ago.

  12. America, rudderless in a sea of… a sea of… I had something for this.

    1. Having a rudder is overrated. It all depends on where they’d steer us if we had a rudder.

      The Khmer Rouge? Now those guys had a rudder!

      1. And an axe, and a gun, and a whip…

    2. I sea what you did there.

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  14. Every elected politician in DC owns the shutdown.

    Every elected politician in DC is responsible for getting it resolved.

    Collect them all in the House of Representatives, lock the doors, supply them with coffee, water and sodas, deny them potty breaks, and order them to get the job done.

    In the 50s the Russians had a diplomat named Molotov who was known as “Iron Pants” because he could sit for hours without ever getting up to go to the bathroom. Let’s see how our politicians of today can do.

    1. Or God’s Own Prohibitionists could come up with a Ribbentrop-style negotiatiator and put together a Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that both the communist “Left” and christian “Right” of the altruist Kleptocracy can agree on. After all, their guns are pointed at us. The biggest hockey-stick voters have to hit back with is a growing crop of 4 million libertarian spoiler votes.

  15. “There’s not much in the way of an obvious solution to all this, short of Trump backing down.”

    Yes, it’s impossible for the Donkeys to compromise; it’s all Trumps fault.

    F*ck off, partisan hack.

    1. Ya cant compromise with asholes and idiots on the republican side of the isle…They ask for everything and give nothing…So fuk the GOP whiny little assholes..lol I like to watch them cry and boo hoo. Two more years of TRUMP and the GOP senate will fall along with trump……New democrat moto Take out the trash in 2020.

      1. Apparently you are acquainted with trash – in the mirror.

      2. The GOP asks for everything and gives nothing… LOL

        Where have you been the last half century? The Dems are the ones who never compromise, and renege on promises for “future” compromises all the time. Trump is the first R with enough balls to just tell them to shove it… And I love him for it. Personally I think he should have demanded twice as much awesome, or more. Or should be raising his demands every week that goes by, just to troll them.

        Then he can back pedal and still get what he actually wanted in the first place.

  16. Back before the communist capitation income tax These States paid entry port protective tariff revenue to the general government. Yet states vied for handouts or at least kickbacks for forts and revenue cutters. By packing its Border Patrol First Responders? with serial-murdering rapists, decapitators and cartel collaborators, Texas has shifted any need for a Wall over to the People’s State of California. But if GOP Texans decide a wall is needed at Colorado and Mexico borders to keep young adults from trying weed, what’s wrong with deducting the cost from customs tariff revenue? Republicans in DC would otherwise spend it on bombing sand people or White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives anyway. Faith-based anything translates into an orgy of prohibitionist asset-forfeiture looting followed by yet another financial collapse as in 1929, 1987 and 2008.

  17. It is all fun and games and politics as usual until all the sudden it is your job and paycheck that disappears. Everytime a Trump supporter loses his job an angel gets its wings.

    1. This is what passes for compassion for progressives. You are a sick puppy.

    2. It sucks for the 37 useful federal employees out of 800,000 that aren’t getting paid… But you gotta break a few eggs and all that 🙂

  18. Trump should be raising his demands as the days go by, just to fuck with the Dems. He should also be offering ever less. He should be threatening to not give retroactive pay, to permanently fire the employees (as he supposedly can after 30 days), etc.

    It’s a circus… Might as well make it a maximum entertainment one, and watch the Dems just continually freak the fuck out. He can keep this up as long as he wants, he has no reason to back down… So he better not.

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