It doesn’t appear that House Democrats are “totally united,” as House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) claimed when it comes to their handling of the government shutdown, as more and more Democrats have started to openly voice their displeasure with the House Democratic Leadership’s inability to compromise with President Trump to reopen the government.
“We are totally united — totally,” Hoyer told the New York Times on Tuesday when asked about Trump’s attempt to gain support from moderate Democrats to end the government shutdown.
However, a string of recent interviews by Democratic members of Congress show that the House Democratic caucus is anything but “united.”
Freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) told the Sun Journal on Monday that he is “very frustrated with all the leadership right now,” he says, “because none of them appear to be ready to give any ground to work out a solution” with Trump.
“Why don’t we have all four Democratic and Republican leaders at the table with the president?” Golden asked.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) echoed Golden’s remarks when she told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, “There’s a number of us on the Democratic side who are quite concerned that we’re not working on negotiated positions and taking the bull by the horns and trying to think about what it would look like.”
“I hope that we can all come to a compromise because that’s the way things get done,” freshman Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) told Politico in a recent interview. “If we don’t compromise, the American people are the ones who get hurt. Right now, they are hanging in the balance.”
“I’ve been trying to force leadership on both sides of the aisle to work out a compromise to this shutdown,” Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) told the Oneida Daily Dispatch. “This dysfunction has to end.”
“Some element of a physical barrier, better technology, more border agents are all things I support,” Brindisi told WAER during another interview. “We should be working with those countries to improve conditions, so people aren’t forced to flee and end up on our doorstep. But we also have to have strong borders, I agree with that. We also have to use our influence to make sure people in these countries have a chance, so they’re not forced to want to pick up and make a very dangerous journey to get to this country.”
“I am sick and tired of us using a government shutdown as a form of brinksmanship–a tool of negotiation,” Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) told the Staten Island Advance. “All we’ve done in the House is repass the Senate bill.”
“I just got out of a bruising fight with my House leadership,” Rose added. “Let’s open the government back up and let’s get back to work.”
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) another freshman member of Congress told Politico, “If I am getting comments and contact from my constituents expressing concern that the Democrats are not prioritizing security, then I think we can do better.”
“If I had the opportunity to vote for some sort of a deal, I would,” freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) told VICE News in a recent interview.
It’s not just freshman Democrats who are growing frustrated with their leadership’s inability to compromise with Trump. Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus have also been voicing their displeasure in recent interviews.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who is the Democratic co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus said, “The idea of walking away is unacceptable. We’ve got to get the government back open. People are suffering. It’s costing businesses in my district.”
“It’s costing businesses across the country. And on top of that, we’ve got to have tough borders. We need to make sure we keep out terrorists and criminals and gang members and drug dealers. But there’s not a reason you can’t do both,” Gottheimer added.
“I think we all want to see DACA protections, so I think there’s an opportunity to, if they give something — it’s called negotiation, right,” Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) another member of the Problem Solvers Caucus told VICE. “Give us a chance to protect the Illegal Aliens; maybe we can give something on border security.”
“We must open up the government immediately, get paychecks in people’s pockets, get over our party politics, and get serious about comprehensive immigration reform,” Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) said in a press release, which called for bipartisanship to end the government shutdown.
So, while Hoyer and Democratic Leadership attempt to paint a picture of a unified front, Americans should know that Hoyer’s own members are growing increasingly frustrated with their leadership’s refusal to compromise with Republicans.
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Author: Fran Brennan
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