While President Donald Trump canceled his holiday plans and has remained in Washington throughout the ongoing federal government shutdown, the vast majority of Congress simply left town, and even presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was seen living it up luxuriously in Hawaii — far away from the negotiating table. But she isn’t getting off the hook for it.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Pelosi out over the weekend for failing to negotiate to reopen the government as the partial shutdown nears the two-week mark.
Sanders calls out Pelosi
Sanders spoke to the media on several occasions over the weekend to make it clear that while Trump is ready and “willing to negotiate,” the Pelosi-led Democrats “left the table altogether” and made no efforts to reach any sort of compromise deal.
“I’m not going to negotiate in the press, but the president has been willing to negotiate on this point and the Democrats have not been willing to do anything,” Sanders explained. “It’s a very sad day when we can’t get Democrats to even show up for work and sit down with us and have these conversations and try to help make real solutions and get something done.”
Sanders went on to assert that a government shutdown is far from the ideal situation.
“Nobody wants anybody to struggle,” she said. “Nobody wants the government to be closed, that’s why we’re asking Democrats to sit down and negotiate something they actually support.”
“Nancy Pelosi is only looking to protect her speakership and not protect her borders,” Sanders added, “and that’s why she’s unwilling to negotiate with us and unwilling to make any type of a deal and unwilling to help do what is necessary.”
Mulvaney joins chorus against Pelosi
But Sanders wasn’t alone in the effort to pin the blame for the shutdown on Pelosi and the intransigent Democrats. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney echoed Sanders’ claims in an interview with Fox News.
“She cannot be seen by her party as being weak on negotiating with Donald Trump,” Mulvaney said. “The vice president and I met with Leader [Chuck] Schumer [D-NY] last Saturday, the last time we sat down face to face, and my gut was that he was really interested in doing a deal and coming to some sort of compromise.
“But the more we’re hearing this week is that it’s Nancy Pelosi who’s preventing that from happening,” Mulvaney added.
President Trump initially took the blame for the shutdown in hopes that it would compel Democrats to negotiate a deal with him, but while he has sat at the White House ready and willing to make such a deal, Pelosi and the Democrats have been nowhere to be found.