On December 22, 2018, the US government shut down. The partial shutdown hinged on President Trump's request for over $5 billion to build his campaign-promised border wall along the US-Mexico border. And on January 12, 2019, it officially became the longest government shutdown in US history, surpassing the 21-day record of the 1995-1996 shutdown.
On January 25, 2019, President Trump announced that he supported a deal that would allow for a temporary reopening of the government for three weeks. President Trump is continuing to push for funding for the wall, while the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives refuses to approve any bill providing funding to the project. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the government will shut down again on February 15, 2019.
Politicans and activists across the political spectrum have been very open about their support for or opposition to the President's proposal. Whether they are in favor of or against the proposal, there appears to be little indication that members of either side will be swayed.
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"This shutdown is a manufactured crisis that the President is using to fan the flames of racism and bigotry - all so he can distract the American people from demanding a government that works for them."
"Shutdowns are not a responsible way to govern. They create instability and unpredictability not only in our government, but also for the many families and businesses that interact with the federal government."
"We should end government shutdowns for good. This legislation [the Government Shutdown Prevention Act] will accomplish that goal, providing lawmakers with more time to reach a responsible resolution to budget negotiations, giving federal workers and their families more stability, ensuring we avoid disruptions that ultimately hurt our economy, taxpayers and working families."
"This never should have happened... There's never a good reason to have a government shutdown in the first place. We've demonstrated that we can do it, but it sure isn't something that should be done."
"This shutdown never should have happened in the first place—we’re in the exact same place we were five weeks ago, but our workers, our economy, and our country have seriously suffered. The President needs to stop playing games, end the threats, and allow the country to get back to work."
"And I think the time is long overdue for the American people to tell this president he is not a dictator, he is not a king, he is not the despotic ruler of Saudi Arabia, he is not his authoritarian friend Vladimir Putin of Russia, he is the President of the United States. And he can not and must not continue to threaten to shut down this government and hold hundreds of thousands of federal workers hostage."
"No matter where one stands on the debate over government spending, we should all be able to agree that Congress needs to handle Americans’ money thoughtfully and hit its deadlines... The Government Shutdown Prevention Act would take a major step forward toward bringing basic fiscal responsibility to Capitol Hill."
"No one can ignore the far-reaching effects of Republicans' dangerous and failed strategy of shutting down the government in order to demand taxpayer funding for an expensive, ineffective border wall."
"[The shutdown] is a security crisis, and it is one of our own making... I fear the damage done to our security will be for months, if not years."
"To the Republicans in the crowd, I say ‘take back your party, the Grand Old Party’. America needs a strong Republican Party, not a rubber stamp... there is serious and justified concern that this president would shut down the government any time he does not get his way legistlatively. This is why we must hold the line on this shutdown in the government."
"Everybody's got to be willing to shake hands on the short term and then work through a process where we can shake hands on the long term," he said. "I think both leaders are now saying, you know, we gotta do this for the good of the country. You may not be able to predict what the president will do, but we have to act."
"Everyone knows the president said he would be proud to shut down the government. Everyone knows that he and Leader McConnell are the only obstacles to opening it back up. Across the board, the polling shows it."
"We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency."
"Plan B is a bipartisan bill. The Democrats say they won’t negotiate with the government shutdown. Many of them say wall funding is not a problem as long as it's tied to priorities of the DHS [Department of Homeland Security]. So how do you start the process? You’ve got to have the House come forward and say that they are willing to receive and take up a bill passed by the Senate."
"Give Trump the money... why are we fighting over this? We're going to build that wall anyway, at some time."
"[The Democratic-backed proposal] does not have a chance of becoming law and solving the problem... My hope is that we will pass the proposal that could be signed into law and solve the problem, and that we will not pass the alternative which does not have a chance of becoming law and solving the problem."
"I would note that after the failed votes, a bipartisan group of 16 senators came to the floor and each one of us indicated a willingness to compromise. And today [Jan. 25, after the government was temporarily reopened] I am pleased that there is real progress."