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As the first government shutdown in more than four years looms, the partisan blame game is truly on as lawmakers on the left and right side of the aisle clamber over one another to pin responsibility on their political rivals.
Democrats are threatening to oppose the short-term funding measure currently in the Senate because they want to force a deal to protect the Dreamers and find a solution on immigration policy.
The Dreamers are the 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents who now face deportation after President Donald Trump ended an Obama-era rule which allowed them to stay in the country, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Republicans and Democrats had almost found a resolution to their disagreement on DACA and immigration when the president allegedly made his controversial comment referring to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.”
As a result Democrat activists on Twitter are calling the potential government shutdown the #shitholeshutdown and #Trumpshutdown, placing the blame with the president.
Although there are no Democrat lawmakers who appear to have adopted the hashtag, it’s getting plenty of use and is being pushed by accounts associated with the Democratic grassroots movement Indivisible Guide.
Today's #ACTION— IndivisibleOregon (@Indivisible_OR) January 19, 2018
HOLD THE LINE FOR A #DreamAct
The @GOP controls the Gov't. If they can't govern, a shutdown is on them.
Call our Senators and thank them for taking a stand#TrumpShutdown#DreamActNow#NoToRacism#ShitholeShutdown
Info & scripts on FB: https://t.co/yWHvaFaK0F pic.twitter.com/JXh7W0M8yY
The common denominator of every modern government shutdown: Republican control of Congress. Thats a fact. #ShitHoleShutdown— Brad Bauman (@bradbaumn) January 18, 2018
There is a bipartisan agreement that could pass both the House and Senate RIGHT NOW and it was moving forward until President Shithouse (nee Shithole) and the freedom caucus spooked your boss. Then it became "hurry up and pass something so we can blame Schumer." https://t.co/F7gHQbflqh— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) January 19, 2018
In a press conference this afternoon, Rep. Steny Hoyer (R-Md.) said that, “We will not be blackmailed because our Republican colleagues will not compromise.’”
The Republicans, on the other hand, are taking aim at Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who commented that party members would not back a short-term funding solution. For them, it’s the #Schumershutdown.
The party promoted the idea and hashtag on the official GOP website, which lawmakers quickly picked up. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) used the hashtag when he called out Schumer on Twitter in a plea to call off the shutdown.
Senator Schumer, do not shut down the federal government.⁰⁰— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 19, 2018
Do not jeopardize funding for our military and for our national security.⁰⁰
Do not jeopardize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.⁰⁰
It is risky. It is reckless. And it is wrong. pic.twitter.com/1NLeGDY20i
Just who is seen as responsible for a government shutdown, should it happen, would have implications in the 2018 midterms elections. However, more permanent than that, a shutdown would be the first in U.S. history to take place while one party is in control of the House, Senate and White House—a serious political embarrassment for Republicans.
Especially because, back in 2013, Trump said the blame for a shutdown falls squarely on one person: The president.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.