After 35 tumultuous days of a partial government shutdown, President Trump caved in fairly dramatic fashion on Friday, January 25.
Without a dollar of border wall funding, he agreed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s demands to re-open the government to continue negotiations. For someone who claims he’s a master negotiator, it was a spectacular failure for the President.
Now the government is officially re-opened until February 15 and federal employees will be receiving backpay in a matter of days.
In the lead-up to the decision by Trump, dueling votes in the Senate did not go his way, with six Senate Republicans defying the President to vote with the Democrats to re-open the government without funding for the wall. While some of the Republican votes were GOP Senators from purple states, like Colorado’s Cory Gardner and Maine’s Susan Collins, others like Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander were a big surprise.
Following that embarrassment, air travel in the U.S., which had already been impacted by TSA agents calling out sick to avoid having to work without pay, came to a standstill at several major airports because of a shortage of air traffic controllers, also federal employees forced to work without pay.
New reports came out outlining the impact of the shutdown on the private sector, as reports on GDP, home sales, durable goods, and more were held up by the shutdown, wreaking havoc for economists and investors.
President Trump’s cabinet wasn’t helping matters. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross found himself in hot water for dismissing the very real economic pain many federal employees were facing after missing two paychecks back-to-back. He callously suggested that workers should just get no-interest loans and carry on, while fellow Trump official Larry Kudlow ludicrously suggested that federal workers were “volunteering” because of their love of their country and their allegiance to President Trump.
It turned out to be a perfect storm, finally persuading Donald Trump that he wasn’t going to get the outcome he wanted and it was time to fold. What an ending to this saga.