Virginia's Congressional Delegation Split on Government Shutdown

Jan 21, 2019

Credit AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana

With the government shutdown in its second month, the pain is starting to be felt more by federal workers and people who rely on government services. The Commonwealth’s lawmakers remain divided on how to get the government's lights back on.

Democrats are now rejecting Trump’s weekend offer to trade Dreamers – those children of undocumented workers – for billions of dollars in wall funding, calling it a disingenuous offer. So negotiations are stalled once again.

Republicans from the Commonwealth blame Democrats for that. But Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner says the president doesn’t understand the real pain being felt by the thousands of Virginians who work for the government.

“What I think is abysmal and frankly disgraceful is that this president and not even any representatives from his White House have sat down with any federal employees.”

While most Republicans are still backing Trump, some Democrats are starting to break with party leaders. Northern Virginia Democrat Don Beyer says he’s fine with the president declaring the border wall a national emergency, because then government employees can get back to work and the courts would decide the constitutionality of the move.

“You want to find win-win situations. I don’t think it’s important that the president loses. We don’t want to build the wall, the wall is stupid and inefficient, but is there some way that he can save face.”

For now, this high stakes game of chicken drags on.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.