President Trump is not the only person in Washington who could end this government arrest now.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) He could bring a "clean" funding plan to the floor, free the GOP caucus to support him and get enough votes to ignore a presidential veto.
McConnell has already done it once, when he believed he had Trump's blessing. Before the holidays he allowed a vote to keep the government running until February 8, to avoid a closure and buy more time to negotiate Trump's request for financing the border wall. He passed easily.
But then Trump prostrated himself at the pressures of his base, the house republicans did not dare to challenge him, and the parts of the government that had not yet been financed were closed.
Now 21 days have passed and we are staggering towards the longest government arrest in American history without any sense of how it will end. Many federal employees are losing their first salary on Friday and are resorting to crowdfunding, secondary jobs and even selling their personal belongings to pay their bills. A veteran defender warned of a terrible warning that financial insecurity is a major cause of suicide. The union of FBI agents said that not paying agents is tantamount to a threat to national security.
When Democratic senators attempted this week to present a bill approved by the House to open parts of the government outside of border security, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Agriculture, McConnell replied: " The last thing we need to do right now is to exchange absolutely useless show votes back and forth along the corridor. "
That of a politician who in December was saying confidently that Congress would avoid an arrest.
Meanwhile, McConnell has left public relations closed to other Republicans, skipping press conferences and keeping a low profile. It maintains the position that it will not cut the party and will make a bill that Trump will not sign, so he may object that this is a problem for Trump and House Democrats.
The public poll shows that 51% of American adults blame Trump for closure, 41% of Democrats and 35% accuse Republicans of Congress, according to a HuffPost / YouGov poll released this week. But while the Republicans can not be blamed for closing, the Americans are not impressed with how they handled them.
Congressional Republicans are also beginning to tire of this grueling struggle. Already some GOP senators for the 2020 elections, like Cory Gardner (Colo.) And Susan Collins (Maine), are deflecting themselves, demanding the end of the closure regardless of the money from the border wall.
Meanwhile, in McConnell's state of origin, there is an effort to draw more attention to his lack of efforts to intervene in the stalemate. The federal workers protested outside his office, a Democratic group is preparing a billboard to pressure McConnell and a writer of opinions at the Louisville Courier-Journal wrote a column entitled "McConnell, stop sitting in your hands. of the government ".
"The guy who is arguably the most skilled lawmaker in US history – at least since Henry Clay was wearing home-made clothes – is sitting outside the controversial debate about President Donald Trump's partial suspension of government," he said.
Perhaps McConnell does not want his members to choose between Trump's failure and the opening of the government, since Trump still enjoys a high degree of party approval. Or maybe McConnell simply does not want to use his political capital on this.
As former McConnell chief of staff, Josh Holmes, noted on Twitter, the majority leader is not easily influenced by external pressures.
"The lib are not following my advice, but the" pressure McConnell "strategy on closing is exhilarating to me," wrote Holmes. "Maybe there is a politician who gives less money on press coverage, but in 20 years I have not met him yet."