This year concludes the same way it began: with a partial shutdown of the federal government. There is no doubt that President Donald Trump is primarily responsible for this shutdown – less than two weeks ago, during a nationally televised meeting in the Oval Office, he explicitly said so himself.
“If we don’t get what we want,” said Trump, “I will shut down the government. And I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, [Sen. Chuck Schumer]… I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it … I will take the mantle of shutting down.”
Not a whole lot of wiggle room there: this is clearly a Trump Shutdown. But the president was bolstered by support from his allies in the House Republican Conference and their retiring leader, House Speaker Paul Ryan. While the Senate did its job and unanimously passed a continuing resolution that would have kept the government open and prevented the shutdown, Ryan refused to allow a vote on similar legislation, allowing the electorally-disgraced House Republican majority to create one last pointless budget crisis on its way out the door.