Heads you win, tails you lose. Journalists at CBS offered a no-win scenario for conservatives on the government shutdown. Republicans, like Donald Trump, are intractable and beholden to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Democrats are holding firm, not wanting to reward the President’s bad behavior.
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell on Tuesday wondered, “We keep hearing about the President being so close to a deal and then being beholden to people like Ann Coulter and even Fox News.... How much does he rely on their voice?” USA Today Bureau Chief Susan Page huffed that “we had a deal,” but “the President initially agreed to it and then walked away from it because he was criticized by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.”
O’Donnell wondered when Republicans were going to just give up: “The political pressure. Will we see Republicans in Congress start to cleave from the pressure?” And while the focus for Republicans is them being “beholden” to extremists in the base, Democrats simply don’t want to “reward bad behavior.”
Democrats have really dug in their heels. Said no to the most recent proposal, one of the reasons his DACA deal does not offer a pathway to citizenship. One of the reasons I've heard is that Nancy Pelosi and others do not want to reward what they view as bad behavior from the President. If he thinks he can get away with this, he can do it again in the future. Is that true?
Again, no suggestion that Democrats should compromise or negotiate. When do they get pressure from the liberal media?
Page reiterated this idea that liberals want to avoid rewarding bad behavior: “I think it's true that they're worried about setting a precedent that you just shut down the government and then you get something that you otherwise wouldn't be able to get.”
A transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
NORAH O’DONNELL: Congress faces some crucial deadlines. Federal courts will run out of money in three days and some 800,000 federal employees will miss their second paycheck. In nine days, more federal housing assisted contracts will start to expire. In February, NASA’s jet propulsion lab may need to cut staff and the Census Bureau could run dry ahead of 2020 census. In ten days, rent subsidies will run out for nearly 270,000 low income rural families. Two days after that, the State Department will need more money to meet its payroll. And in 17 days, federal employees will miss their third paycheck. Susan Page is Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today. Susan, Good morning.
SUSAN PAGE: Good morning.
O’DONNELL: It is long past due for a legislative and executive remedy to this. What is Congress going to do this week? And will it work?
PAGE: Well, I don't think it's going to work. Congress is going to take steps this week to show each side that they're making efforts. But there’s just not a lot of talking to each other. They're talking at each other. And both sides have rejected the other side’s proposals as complete non-starters.
GAYLE KING: Does political pressure normally work in these kinds of things? Both sides have drilled down so heavily.
O’DONNELL: You know, traditionally, political pressure would have worked. We know President Trump is taking the brunt of the blame from a series of polls. Traditionally, that would have pushed the White House to make some sort of deal. Political pressure isn't working this time. I think reality might work. Look at the things that Norah just talked about. The real impact on Americans, both the federal workers and everybody else. And if there's a time when people cannot fly commercially because there just aren't enough TSA agents to do the security, that's what might finally push a deal.
KING: Yes, if the TSA really took action, they could totally shut down the city. Shut down the Congress, rather.
PAGE: More powerful than members of Congress.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA: We keep hearing about the president being so close to a deal and then being beholden to people like Ann Coulter and even Fox News. How factual is that? How much does he rely on their voice?
PAGE: You know, we had a deal. The country had a deal last month to keep funding the government. And the President initially agreed to it and then walked away from it because he was criticized by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. And that's one reason Democrats are very nervous about making another deal with him. Will he follow through with it? That's one of the things that makes it hard to see a way out of this impasse now.
O’DONNELL: Especially as we see a new report out this morning that Republicans increasingly blame the president for the shutdown. To Gayle’s point, the political pressure. Will we see Republicans in Congress start to cleave from the pressure?
PAGE: Well, one of the mysteries of the last two years is that Republicans have not done that, Paul Ryan didn't do that, Mitch McConnell has not do that. Donald Rumsfeld used to have a saying, if you can't solve a problem, make it bigger. And it seems that is one way out of this. If you have a big deal, a deal that gave permanent protection to the dreamers in exchange for giving President Trump some money he could say was for his wall, that might be a path out.
KING: So who could be the knight in shining armor? Or knights in shining armor?
PAGE: Well, senate Republicans are in a position to really push the White House. That's one possibility. TSA agents. Are we looking into them?
GOLORDYGA: Democrats have really dug in their heels. Said no to the most recent proposal, one of the reasons his DACA deal does not offer a pathway to citizenship. One of the reasons I've heard is that Nancy Pelosi and others do not want to reward what they view as bad behavior from the President. If he thinks he can get away with this, he can do it again in the future. Is that true?
PAGE: Yeah, I think it's true that they're worried about setting a precedent that you just shut down the government and then you get something that you otherwise wouldn't be able to get. I do think that's part of it. Democrats also are anxious to show, number one, they're, number one, willing to go some distance. Number two, willing to get a little more money for border security. And that doesn't actually get you closer to a deal but it does indicate there's nervousness about standing at this standoff.