Speaking to U.S. troops involved in bombing Islamic State militants in Syria, Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday launched a broadside at Democrats over the government shutdown, accusing the opposition party of “playing politics with military pay.”
It is unusual for a sitting vice president to use a meet-and-greet with service members to make political attacks.
“Despite bipartisan support for a budget resolution, the minority in the Senate has decided to play politics with military pay. But you deserve better,” Pence told a crowd of Air Force and Army troops inside an airplane hanger on a military base near the Syrian border.
Vice President Mike Pence heard pointed criticism Sunday from the king of Jordan, a key regional ally unhappy with President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Sitting directly across from the vice president at the start of a lunch in the royal palace on a hilltop in Amman, King Abdullah II told Pence he had repeatedly voiced his “concerns” to the White House over the past year that such a move would upend peace negotiations and threaten Jordan’s stability.
“Today we have a major challenge to overcome, especially with some of the rising frustrations,” Abdullah said.
More than 5,000 people are expected to converge at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington for the city’s Women’s March on Saturday. Despite the fact that the land is overseen by the National Park Service – an agency affected by the 2013 government shutdown — the march will continue.
The park service previously put a plan in place that restricted a government shutdown from affecting activities protected by the 1st Amendment. The Women’s March falls under that description.
“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” Sanders said.
“This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform,” she said. “During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the President and his Administration will fight for and protect the American people.”
President Trump walked out of the Oval Office and stood alone under a portico shortly after noon on Friday, just before addressing the anti-abortion March for Life rally.
Just feet away from his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, Trump looked especially pensive, his face tight, before breaking into a half-smile when he spotted a nearby toddler who had come to the Rose Garden with a select group of activists from the rally.
Trump said nothing about the potential of a partial government shutdown looming at midnight, in what was his only scheduled public appearance of the day. But aides in the West Wing were noticeably tense, moving quickly from meeting to meeting as they wondered how the day would unfold.