‘This is not a strategy that works, and we never should have had a shutdown in the first place…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Republican Party’s resolve to stand behind President Donald Trump’s demands for a southern border wall might be beginning to break, as reports of interior clashes among GOP senators continue to surface.
The partial government shutdown is heading into its second month without an end in sight, since Democrats refuse to allocate $5 billion for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has ensured voters that the Republicans in Congress are firmly united behind the president, but the tension boiled over at a private Republican luncheon on Thursday, according to the Washington Post.
“This is your fault,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., reportedly told McConnell.
“Are you suggesting I’m enjoying this?” McConnell replied.
Ben Voelkel, a spokesperson for Johnson, confirmed that the exchange took place and said the Wisconsin Republican was expressing his frustration over defeated efforts to reopen the government.
The Republicans introduced a bill on Thursday that would reopen the government and allocate $5.7 billion for the wall, with additional legal protections for immigrants, but the Democrats killed it.
They then proposed their own bill that would provide funding for the government to reopen until Feb. 8, but it did not include funding for the wall.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Ut., reportedly encouraged his colleagues to vote for both the Republican and Democratic bills, but was interrupted by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
Romney then snapped at Tillis, though one person who was in attendance said the exchange was lively, not angry.
Republican senators also voiced their concerns to Vice President Mike Pence, who was present at the luncheon.
McConnell reportedly told Pence that the shutdown cannot continue and that Trump’s game of hardball isn’t working.
“There is no education in the second kick of a mule,” McConnell told Pence, according to Republicans familiar with his comments.
And another Republican senator told Pence: “The shutdown needs to come to an end; this is not a strategy that works, and we never should have had a shutdown in the first place.”