By Katie Sweigart
With the longest government shutdown in history hitting day 28 on Friday, it appears as though a compromise between the Democrats and Republicans is still far from reach.
Negotiations are still frozen after Congress and the White House failed to reach a spending deal on December 21, and the feud between House Democrats and President Trump seem to have reached new levels this week.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that President Trump postpone his State of the Union address or deliver it in writing.
President Trump fired back by denying Pelosi the use of military aircraft for a war zone trip to Afghanistan just under an hour before she was scheduled to leave.
Each side blamed the government shutdown in preventing the other’s plans. According to POLITICO, Pelosi argued that it would not be possible to properly secure the Capitol with so many federal employees going unpaid, while Trump said that it would be “inappropriate” for Pelosi to travel with no deal to end the shutdown in sight.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has been known for his support of President Trump, voiced his opinion on Twitter Thursday afternoon, calling this taunt between Trump and Pelosi “sophomoric.”
“Speaker Pelosi’s threat to cancel the State of the Union is very irresponsible and blatantly political[…]President Trump denying Speaker Pelosi military travel to visit our troops in Afghanistan, our allies in Egypt and NATO is also inappropriate,” stated Graham.
This is not the first time that Graham has diverged from Trump’s political agenda. He has also criticized President Trump’s recent decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
On Sunday, Graham recommended a reopening of the government for a short period so a deal could potentially be reached regarding the shutdown but was adamant President Trump was not going to give in unless his demands to fund a border wall were met.
A recent Pew poll found 79% of Democrats say the government shutdown is a “very serious” problem for the country, whereas only 39% of Republicans believe the same.
The majority of Americans continue to disapprove of the way President Trump, Republicans in Congress and Democrats in Congress have handled negotiations regarding the shutdown, according to Pew Research.
Moreover, according to a POLITICO report published early Friday morning, the shutdown has inflicted lasting damage to federal agencies.
According to Jennifer Scholtes, “feds will struggle to dig out of a backlog of hiring and training that’s essential to pushing out tax refunds, protecting U.S. borders and guiding air traffic.
While the root of this shutdown stems from funding for the wall and economic concerns, it seems as though President Trump does not plan on backing down.
And as the shutdown nears its one-month mark, it is becoming clear that lack of negotiations between the parties is purely political partisanship. Even worse, the lasting damage to federal agencies and its employees could be irreversible.