January 23, 2019
33 days into the Trump-shutdown, and as hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans are set to miss their second paycheck this week, one person with the power to put a bill on the President’s desk to re-open government has been conspicuously missing in action.

In 2014, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Remember me? I am the guy that gets us out of shutdowns.”  But now, as we face another senseless Trump Shutdown, endangering our national security and forcing workers to struggle to feed their families and pay their bills, McConnell is busy keeping government closed.

Editorial boards and op-eds across the country, including a few in McConnell’s beloved Kentucky, have condemned his abdication and complicity in Trump-shutdown:

Washington Post: Mitch McConnell is the reason we still have a shutdown

“Trump may have caused the government shutdown, but the Senate majority leader is the reason it’s still closed.”

Louisville Courier-Journal Op-Ed: McConnell, stop sitting on your hands. End this government shutdown

“The Kentucky Republican is not lending his expertise to help Trump negotiate a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He’s acting like a disinterested backbencher more concerned about whether he’ll be out of the office in time for happy hour at Johnny’s Half Shell.”

Washington Post: Mitch McConnell could end the shutdown. But he’s sitting this one out.

“Maybe McConnell doesn’t want his members to have to choose between bucking Trump and opening the government, given Trump still enjoys high approval rating within the party. Or maybe McConnell simply doesn’t feel like using up his own political capital on this one.”

Louisville Courier-Journal Op-Ed: Yarmuth: McConnell has ceded all power to Trump in government shutdown

“The Senate Majority Leader, usually a critical player in resolving Congressional deadlocks, has been missing in action in the current government shutdown debate. More than that, he has essentially ceded legislative power to the president when he said that he would not allow a Senate vote on any bill he wasn’t sure the president would sign into law.”

Lexington Herald Leader Editorial: Mitch McConnell should do the obvious right thing, reopen the government

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sits on his hands, afraid of Trump’s wrath and voters, even though McConnell could end the government shutdown by allowing the Senate to vote on a spending plan and then overriding any Trump veto.”

Washington Post Op-Ed: Does Mitch McConnell know he’s part of the first branch of government?

“A self-respecting Senate majority leader previously would not declare his own impotence, nor turn over the job of legislating to the White House. Pelosi is right: Congress is a coequal branch and its job is to fund the government. You have to wonder why Republicans want the Senate majority if they are nothing more than supplicants to the president and bystanders in governance… McConnell’s do-nothing strategy is not only a constitutional outrage but politically deadly for his members.”

Baltimore Sun Editorial: The shutdown is now a record. End it, Mitch McConnell

“Missing in action is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He could do more than speculate on ways to reopen government, he could call on his members to approve stop-gap funding and take the ‘hostage’ out of the equation.”

Vice Op-Ed: The Shutdown Is Mitch McConnell's Fault

“But even if it feels like Trump is holding the government hostage to get his wall, he can't do it alone—Republicans, and in particular Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, could restore what passes for normality in this era any time they wanted to.”

McConnell and Senate Republicans should join Democrats in taking action to stop holding workers hostage and re-open government to meet the needs of the American people.