Report: Republican senators turn on Mitch McConnell for defending Trump during shutdown

Prior to the agreement reached Friday between Congress and President Donald Trump for a three-week spending deal that has temporarily re-opened the government, there were growing rumblings of dissension among the rank-and-file of both Democrats and Republicans.

;But being the liberal-biased media outlet it is, Newsweek ignored the Democratic dissension and only reported early on Friday that some Republican senators had turned on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (and the White House) over the then-lengthy and stalemated shutdown.

Finger-pointing and fault-finding

Things reportedly got a bit heated during a private Republican luncheon on Thursday, with some senators turning on McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence for their steadfastness in support of the president’s position on the shutdown over border security funding.

In fact, it was reported that Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson pointed to McConnell and declared: “This is your fault,” ostensibly in reference to McConnell’s refusal to bring to a vote any of several Democratic House-passed spending bills that Trump had already said he would veto if submitted for his signature.

But McConnell reportedly didn’t want to take the blame.

“Are you suggesting I’m enjoying this?” McConnell asked Johnson in a back-and-forth between the two senators that was said to have been confirmed by Johnson’s spokesman, Ben Voelkel.

Rank-and-file infighting

It was also reported that there was a “lively but not angry” spat between Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis at the meeting, after Romney informed everyone in attendance that he intended to vote later that day for both a Republican and Democrat bill to re-open the government, despite the lack of border security funding in the Democratic bill.

In the end, both of those legislative efforts failed to clear the 60-vote threshold necessary for passage, but it was widely noted that six Republican senators — including Romney — crossed the aisle to support the Democratic bill.

Newsweek further reported that Pence received quite an earful from several Republican senators at that luncheon, including even from McConnell himself, who was said to have attempted to distance himself from the shutdown by noting that it wasn’t his idea.

Another unnamed senator reportedly told Pence: “The shutdown needs to come to an end; this is not a strategy that works, [and] we never should have had a shutdown in the first place.”

However, Texas Sen. John Cornyn — who was in attendance at the luncheon — told reporters afterward that nobody specifically blamed the president for the then-ongoing shutdown.

“There was a lot of frustration expressed about the situation we find ourselves in,” Cornyn said.

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Equal coverage for Democratic dissension?

It is not entirely inconceivable that there was some dissension in the ranks of congressional Republicans as the stalemated shutdown continued to drag on, but the same article from Newsweek could just as easily have been written about the cracks appearing in the supposedly unified facade of congressional Democrats as well.

In truth, there were — and still are — a number of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who would like nothing better than to reach a compromise deal that will put this entire debate on border security behind us.

The only question now is: will they work with President Trump to make it happen?

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