As a new poll showed President Donald Trump increasingly getting blamed for the longest-ever U.S. government shutdown, he kicked of Day 24 by again trying to blame Democrats for not agreeing to fund his proposed border wall, saying he’s “been waiting all weekend” for them to “get to work.”
Later Monday morning, as he left the White House for a trip to New Orleans, Trump told reporters he is “not looking to call a national emergency” because solving the problem should be “simple.”
“I’ve been waiting all weekend. Democrats must get to work now. Border must be secured!” the president tweeted. Washington is feeling the effects of the extended shutdown, which has closed or partially-closed scores of government agencies and national tourist destinations. The city is also digging out of a snowstorm that dumped 6-10 inches of snow over the weekend, closing the federal government and D.C. public schools Monday.
In a second tweet Monday, Trump also used his often-used name for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who he calls “Cryin’ Chuck,” and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who he called only “Nancy,” claiming that Democrats could end the shutdown in “15 minutes.”
“At this point it has become their, and the Democrats, fault!” Trump tweeted.
According to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, a majority of Americans holds Donald Trump and congressional Republicans mainly responsible for the partial federal shutdown.
Only 24 percent of those polled back Trump’s claim that there’s a crisis at the southern border and 66 percent oppose his declaring a national emergency to fund a wall there, according to the poll.
Fifty-three percent in the national survey said that Trump and the GOP are mainly responsible for the shutdown, while 29 percent blamed congressional Democrats, nearly a 2-1 margin against the president and his party.
Democrats have called for the president to end the shutdown by abandoning the wall, one of his foremost campaign promises, and instead listen to bipartisan ideas on border security like sensors, radar or drones with cameras. Pelosi has called a wall an “immorality,” arguing it won’t effectively secure the border.
Last week, Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional Democrats and called it a “total waste of time.”
As the politics involved continue to deepen the lines in the sand, 800,000 federal workers are caught in the crossfire. Many missed their first paychecks since the shutdown started on Friday, according to the American Federation of Government Employees, and another one-third missed a paycheck Monday. About half, 420,000 federal workers, are still required to work despite receiving no pay.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, often Trump’s ally in the Senate, proposed that Trump briefly re-open the government in an interview on Sunday.
“I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to the president’s threats to get a wall by declaring a national emergency. “See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers.”
But on Monday, as he was leaving the White House for a trip to New Orleans, Trump said he “rejected” Graham’s proposal.
“I want to get it solved. I don’t want to just delay it,” Trump said.
Others, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, argue that it’s time for Pelosi and Schumer to come to the table.
Democrats continue to point to Trump’s initial willingness to accept the shutdown, which he said he was “proud” to own during an Oval Office meeting with Schumer and Pelosi in mid-December.
“If we don’t get what we want … I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump said at the time.
ABC News’ Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.