The government shutdown has now surpassed the 21-day record for the longest in U.S. history, but that didn’t stop a number of Democrats from attending a working vacation in Puerto Rico. The trip was highly criticized over the weekend by Republicans, who say failure to reach a compromise rests with their colleagues, who were caught on camera enjoying drinks and sunbathing.
Many government workers on furlough complained the shutdown is causing them to miss payments on essential household bills, as they stress about risking their credit scores if it lasts much longer. However, Republicans have accused Democrats of failing to reach a compromise over the past three weeks. They say the border wall funding, which was once supported by Democrats in the past is less than a tenth of the money Congress funds to other nations seeking foreign aide. Moreover, the battle to fund the extension of the Southern wall with Mexico comes at a critical moment when the administration is weighing whether or not to declare the border a national emergency to avoid an even longer shutdown.
According to a Washington Examiner report, 30 Democrats and 109 lobbyists have been gallivanting around the beaches of San Juan since Friday. The group also watched the broadway musical “Hamilton” and attended several high profile parties, according to the report. The trip was organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC, which stated it was conducting business over the weekend and holding a roundtable discussion on the ongoing cleanup relief for hurricane Maria. The hurricane claimed 3,000 lives and left thousands without electricity for months.
Spotted: Sen. Bob Menendez on the beach at a resort in Puerto Rico on Day 22 of the partial government shutdown. Reports say dozens of Dems are in PR for the CHC BOLD PAC winter retreat — including meetings on Maria cleanup, and a party with PR’s “Hamilton” cast. pic.twitter.com/6FaBYKPo4L
— David McAlpine (@DavidMcAlpine) January 12, 2019
Democrats seem to be less concerned over the 800,000 furloughed workers and the longterm impacts of sustaining a porous border, said President Trump. He tweeted his frustrations with Democrats who left Washington during the shutdown on Sunday.
“I’m at the White House, waiting,” tweeted Trump. “The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!”
I’m in the White House, waiting. The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders weighed in on Sunday, saying on Twitter “Democrats in Congress are so alarmed about federal workers not getting paid they’re partying on the beach instead of negotiating a compromise to reopen the government and secure the border.”
Democrats in Congress are so alarmed about federal workers not getting paid they’re partying on the beach instead of negotiating a compromise to reopen the government and secure the borderhttps://t.co/zpJypJ2Slq
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 13, 2019