Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed both radio host Rush Limbaugh and “the conservative blonde woman” for President Trump’s decision to refuse to sign a funding bill that didn’t include $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Republicans overwhelmingly voted to keep the government open. Then Rush Limbaugh and the conservative blonde woman says he’s losing his base, and so he’s changed his mind,” Biden told CNN on Friday. The former vice president was apparently referring to conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Congress was ready last month to pass a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open until February. But because there was growing criticism from Limbaugh and Coulter, Trump changed course announcing he would veto any bill without wall funding. Coulter and Limbaugh warned the president against capitulating on his demand for border wall funding.
The White House and lawmakers were unable to resolve an impasse over border wall funding, leading the government to shut down on Dec. 22.
The shutdown is now in its 15th day and has closed roughly 25 percent of the government, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, Justice, Interior and State. There are hundreds of thousands of federal workers have either been furloughed or forced to work without pay for the time being.
Trump stood his ground on Friday on his demand for $5.6 billion to fund his proposed U.S.–Mexico border wall as part of any deal to end the shutdown. But both Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, and Charles Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, have vowed not to agree to allocate any additional funds for the wall.
Trump responded by threatening to keep the government shut down for years until he gets his desired funding to build the border wall. He even said he “may” declare a national emergency to build the wall.
Congressional leaders will meet with Trump on Saturday morning for the third time this week for negotiations on the shutdown.