[Rushtalk] Trump laments 'nice present' of shutdown on inauguration anniversary

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Tue Feb 13 14:15:17 MST 2018


Trump laments 'nice present' of shutdown on inauguration anniversary

AFP W.G. Dunlop,AFP 1 hour 42 minutes ago 
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 US President Donald Trump expressed frustration that the one-year
anniversary of his inauguration has been marred by the federal
government shutdown (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN) 

Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump marked the first
anniversary of his inauguration on Saturday with his government in
shutdown, lashing out at Democrats over the collapse of budget
negotiations as Congress convened an emergency session to thrash out a

Essential federal services and military activity will continue, but
hundreds of thousands of public sector workers will be sent home without
wages and even serving soldiers will not be paid until a deal is reached
to reopen the US government.

Highlighting the deep political polarization, people took to the streets
of major US cities en masse to march against the president and his

"This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats
wanted to give me a nice present," Trump, who is in Washington instead
of celebrating the anniversary at his Mar-a-Lago resort, wrote on
Twitter in reference to the shutdown.

"Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are
with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border," he
tweeted, later accusing the opposition party of "holding our Military

The impact of the shutdown will be felt more strongly if it lasts into
the coming work week. 

Signs that the government was not open for business were already
appearing on Saturday.

"The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are closed due
to a lapse in appropriations," a notice on the National Park Service's
website said, while a sign at US military cemetery in France where 4,409
Americans are buried read: "Due to the US Government shut down, this
site is closed to the public."

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in a memo that "daily operations
around the world" will continue, but "training for reservists must be
curtailed" and that "active forces will stay at their posts adapting
their training to achieve the least negative impact on our readiness to

- 'Holding pattern' -

There have been four government shutdowns since 1990. In the last one in
2013, more than 800,000 government workers were put on temporary leave.

"We're just in a holding pattern. We just have to wait and see. It's
scary," Noell Joll, a 50-year-old furloughed US government employee,
told AFP in Washington.

Joll was also affected by the 2013 shutdown, but "this one feels a lot
more ominous," she said.

"I think our members are frustrated, they're disappointed in the
president and members of Congress that they're not funding the
government -- doing their job -- as we do our jobs every day," J. David
Cox, the president of one of the largest unions representing government
workers, said on CNN

A deal had appeared likely on Friday afternoon, when Trump -- who has
touted himself as a master negotiator and dealmaker -- seemed to be
close to an agreement with Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck
Schumer on a measure to prevent the expulsion of undocumented migrants
who arrived in the country as children.

But no such compromise was in the language that reached Congress for a
stop-gap motion to keep the government open for four more weeks while a
final arrangement is discussed -- and Republicans failed to win enough
Democratic support to bring it to a vote.

Congress reconvened for a rare Saturday session, where leaders of both
sides traded accusations of responsibility for the shutdown.

Schumer said that trying to negotiate with Trump "was like negotiating
with Jell-O."

"It's impossible to negotiate with a constantly-moving target," he said.
"President Trump is so mercurial it's been impossible to get him to
agree to anything. The Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said
that Schumer "took the extraordinary step" of preventing the legislation
from passing and thus "plunging the country into this totally avoidable

- Anti-Trump protests -

Democrats have accused Republicans of poisoning chances of a deal and
pandering to Trump's populist base by refusing to fund a program that
protects 700,000 "Dreamers" -- undocumented immigrants who arrived in
the US as children -- from deportation. 

Republicans have a tenuous one-seat majority in the Senate but would
have needed to lure some Democrats to their side to get a 60 vote
supermajority to bring the motion forward. They fell ten votes short.

The measure brought to Congress would have extended federal funding
until February 16 and reauthorized for six years a health insurance
program for poor children -- a long-time Democratic objective.

But it would have cut the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program,
known as DACA, that affects Dreamers.

White House officials insisted there was no urgency to fix DACA, which
expires March 5.

As US lawmakers wrangled over government funding, protesters turned out
in cities including Washington, New York, Chicago and Denver to express
their opposition to Trump and their support for women's rights.

Protestors hoisted signs with messages such as "Fight like a girl" and
"A woman's place is in the White House."

Another sign took aim at Trump's government: "I've seen smarter cabinets
at IKEA," it said, referring to a furniture store with items requiring
often-tedious and time-consuming assembly.

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