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Home State Ed Boards and Observers: McConnell and GOP Senators Should Bypass Trump, Forget the Wall, and Re-open the Government

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A growing number of home state editorials, columns, and letters to the editor are calling on Senator Mitch McConnell and fellow Senate Republicans to find a way forward to end the absurd and damaging government shutdown over the offensive and ridiculous border wall.

Below are a few of our favorite recent examples of in-state voices focused on their home state Republican Senators’ complicity – starting with several choice Kentucky editorials directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and following with home-state commentary focused on incumbent GOP Senators with 2020 re-elections. Links and excerpts below:

Kentucky (Senator Mitch McConnell)

A Lexington Herald Leader editorial titled, “Mitch McConnell should do the obvious right thing, reopen the government” states, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sits on his hands, afraid of Trump’s wrath and voters, even though McConnell could end the government shutdown by allowing the Senate to vote on a spending plan and then overriding any Trump veto. When McConnell does emerge, he touts the merits of Trump’s wall, raising a question: If McConnell really thinks that Trump’s wall is critical, why didn’t he push for more funding during the two years when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress? … Facing his toughest test yet, McConnell should do the obvious right thing and reopen the government.”

The Herald-Leader also stated in an earlier editorial in January, “McConnell, up for re-election next year, and other Senate Republicans understandably dread incurring Trump’s wrath, especially since it might inspire a Republican challenger. But McConnell has to know the Trump presidency would eventually force a choice upon him. Now would be a good time to choose to lead.”

Arizona (Senator Martha McSally up in 2020):

In an Arizona Republic column titled, “Martha McSally refuses pay, but how long will she agree to hold federal workers hostage?” Laurie Roberts writes: “Sen. Martha McSally demonstrated this week that she’s a stand-up person. Unfortunately, she’s standing up for the wrong thing. Rather than promoting her decision not to take a government paycheck while 800,000 other federal workers aren’t getting one, she should be promoting a solution to end this ridiculous and dangerous standoff … McSally, one of 60 members of Congress who is declining a paycheck during the partial shutdown, made her Thursday announcement in an email and on a video posted to Facebook, presumably so she wouldn’t be subject to pesky questions … 800,000 federal workers won’t be seeing a paycheck. It’s nice to know you won’t be getting paid either, senator. It would be even nicer to know how long you will stand with the president as he holds 800,000 American families hostage.

Colorado (Senator Cory Gardner up in 2020):

An Aurora Sentinel editorial, titled “Senate GOP must join Dems to force Trump to reopen the government — or step around him to do it,” states, “In the almost two years that Trump has been president, he and his Republican allies have amassed a staggering list of foul and often dangerous mistakes … All the while, Republican leaders in Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Colorado congressmen Scott Tipton, Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and senators such as Cory Gardner, Orrin Hatch and Ron Paul have either turned a blind eye to Trump’s incompetence, or they have been outright complicit in his presidential carny act … Set aside the wall issue, re-open the government, and squabble about it later.”

Iowa (Senator Joni Ernst up in 2020):

A Des Moines Register editorial, titled “Congress should circumvent Trump to get government funded and functioning,” states: “Attempts by lawmakers to negotiate with Trump are not going well. This is why Congress may need to finally come together and circumvent him … Granted, a veto override is unusual, but Congress has an obligation to ensure government can perform its basic functions. And many Republicans, including those who represent territory on the southwest border, have not been fans of Trump’s wall anyway.”

Maine (Senator Susan Collins up in 2020):

A Portland-Press Herald letter to the editor from Paul Campbell, titled, “Republicans failing to take initiative on solution to wall debate,” states: “My wife and I are rural Maine voters who are not getting our news from either Fox or MSNBC. We have a daughter and son-in-law who are federal employees affected by the shutdown and who have nothing to do with border security. Their work and their paychecks are being needlessly held hostage by the president. Where are our Republican leaders, most of whom, unlike Donald Trump, have not promised supporters that they would build a wall? … Where are the others, including our own Sen. Susan Collins?”

North Carolina: (Senator Thom Tillis up in 2020):

A Winston-Salem Journal editorial states: “Shutting the government down, no matter who does it, is a detrimental tactic that costs us more in the long run and leaves the U.S. looking like a banana republic. Holding the budget hostage to non-negotiable demands isn’t an artful ploy, but a failure of persuasion and deliberative power. We hope the 2019 Congress will bring sanity to the process and bring the shutdown to an end before it costs us even more.”