ON THE HILL WITH DOUG CHRISTIAN
CAPITOL HILL – On day 25 of the government shutdown, both sides are looking at the polls carefully as they figure out what to do next. An ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests that President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are mainly responsible for the shutdown by a margin of nearly 2-1.
Whereas 53% percent say that Trump and the GOP are responsible for the shutdown, 29 % blame congressional Democrats. 13% say both are equally accountable.
However this poll gets more-dicey for Democrats when it shows how perceptions for responsibility scrim along the limbic barrier of party lines. While 85% of Democrats and 78% of liberals mainly blame Trump and the GOP for the shutdown, only 68% of Republicans or 50% of conservatives blame the Democrats. Only a third of conservatives say President Trump and the congressional Republicans are at fault.
Congressional Republicans are tamping out another political firestorm caused by Iowa Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) question to the New York Times, asking, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
As a result, House GOP leaders moved Monday to remove Rep. King from his committee assignments on Judiciary and Agriculture.
From the Senate side, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called King’s remarks “unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position.” Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Politico, “He doesn’t have a place in our party, he doesn’t have a place in polite company and certainly should not have a place in Congress.” Romney continued, “I’d back him getting out of Congress and getting out of our party, as well as a challenge politically.”
Looking forward, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins two days of confirmation hearings for William Barr become the next Attorney General of the United States.
Doug Christian, Capitol Hill