Two Republicans Up in 2020 Just Broke With Donald Trump Over the Border Wall, and People Have Questions

Republican Senators Cory Gardner (CO) and Susan Collins (ME) have announced they would support reopening the federal government without President Donald Trump's desired $5 billion funding for his proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


“I think we should pass a continuing resolution to get the government back open. The Senate has done it last Congress, we should do it again today,” Gardner said, adding that Congress "can pass legislation that has the appropriations number in it [$1.6 billion] while we continue to get more but we should continue to do our jobs and get the government open."

Collins herself announced she is co-sponsoring a bill that would help protect government workers during shutdowns. The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act would guarantee that furloughed federal employees will be paid retroactively and that employees will be paid as soon as possible once a shutdown ends.

Response to these calls has been mixed. Both Gardner and Collins are up for re-election. Last year, many promised to oppose Collins in particular after she voted to confirm Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh despite the allegations of sexual assault brought against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a former high school classmate.

The shutdown is the fourth longest in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight, despite assurances from Democrats that they will pass funding bills as soon as they take office. The inauguration of the 116th Congress today marks the first time ever that a federal shutdown will extend into two different Congresses.

The president’s insistence on blaming Democrats for the shutdown contradicts his own statements. In December, he preemptively accepted ownership of a then-possible shutdown.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” he told Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office on December 11.

After meeting with Trump and other Congressional leaders privately, Senator Schumer said the president threatened to keep the government closed for “months or even years” until he gets his desired border wall funding ($5 billion). Trump later confirmed this at a press briefing in the Rose Garden after the meeting.

Nancy Pelosi, who yesterday reclaimed her position as Speaker despite internal opposition within her own party, described a “lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president.”

“We cannot resolve this until we open up government,” Pelosi said.

The president had a different take, however.

“I thought it was really a very, very good meeting. We’re all on the same path,” he said.

But the president confirmed to reporters that he did, in fact, say he would keep the shutdown going if necessary.

"Absolutely I said that," Trump said during an appearance from the Rose Garden. "I don't think it will, but I'm prepared."

Two individuals familiar with the meeting said Trump mentioned extending the standoff "to the election."

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the president will “designate his top people” to negotiate with Congress and end the shutdown.

“The news is that the president agreed to designate his top people to sit down with all the leaders’ staffs this weekend to see if we could come up with an agreement to recommend back to us — both to him and to the various leaders,” McConnell told reporters.

CNN video/Win McNamee/Getty Images

Maine's Democratic primary is slated for March 3.

The vote will determine who faces off against incumbent Republican Susan Collins in November.

Keep reading...
ABC/The View

President Donald Trump has made no effort to keep his thoughts on the trial of his former advisor, Roger Stone, a secret.

Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, obstructing justice, and threatening a witness last year. When prosecutors recommended a seven to nine year prison sentence, Trump fumed on Twitter and the Justice Department subsequently overrode the opinion of its prosecutors, who resigned in response.

Today, Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for his crimes, leading everyone to ask: Will Trump pardon one of his most vocal allies?

Keep reading...
Chris Graythen/Getty Images // Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With 2.4 billion active users, Facebook has become a breeding ground for disinformation. Misleading or outright false allegations played an unignorable part of the assault on the 2016 election and a number of lawmakers say Facebook isn't doing enough to curtail fake news ahead of 2020.

Now a recent Washington Post report detailing Facebook's response to fake news pages after President Donald Trump's shocking victory in 2016 is raising even more concerns.

Keep reading...
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republicans often claim their party has the upper hand with voters when it comes to fiscal responsibility. When a Democrat is in office, one of the chief complaints you can count on from Republican lawmakers is that the President is ballooning the deficit, or sending the federal debt skyward.

This hasn't quite been the case when it's a Republican President occupying the White House.

Keep reading...
NBC News

Contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination debated in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday ahead of the state's primary in the most confrontational debate yet.

Present on the debate stage for the first time was billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a late entry to the campaign whose advertising blitz helped contribute to his rise in the polls, despite having yet to appear on a primary ballot.

Keep reading...
Leon Neal/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's constant trips to his own golf properties around the globe has been a matter of some controversy since he took office in 2017.

A constant critic of President Barack Obama's golf outings—which unlike Trump Obama did not personally profit from—the 45th POTUS claimed he would be too busy working to ever play golf.

Keep reading...