Donald Trump Slammed by Both Conservative and Moderate Republicans After Shutdown

Conservative and moderate Republicans alike have criticized President Donald Trump's government shutdown, which was the longest in history before ending on Friday, with some expressing the view that the move only hurt the political party in the eyes of the public.

"I hope we get some common sense out of it," GOP Representative Peter King of New York said, according to The Washington Post. "We lost the election in November and now we've lost six weeks to get our strength back, to get our position back," he pointed out.

Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman accused Trump of putting American federal workers "through hell for nothing." He explained that Trump's demand to build the wall on the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico "was not something that had any validity on Capitol Hill."

Donald, Trump, conservative, moderate, Republicans, shutdown
President Donald Trump speaks about the government shutdown on January 25, from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images

"If this was a such a priority for them, why didn't they pass it over the last two years?" he asked.

Republicans held control of the Senate and the House of Representatives throughout Trump's first two years as president, but still failed to pass meaningful border security or immigration reform legislation. Democrats took control of the House in January after a so-called "blue wave" during the November midterm elections, which was seen by many as a referendum on the president's policies.

Polling suggests that the majority of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown, which forced about 800,000 federal employees to work for 35 days without pay or be temporarily furloughed. The president implemented the shutdown before Christmas when he refused to sign a bipartisan Congressional stopgap budget that didn't include $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall, which he previously insisted Mexico would pay for. The move had wide-reaching economic damage, with the White House reportedly estimating that it decreased gross domestic product (GDP) by at least 0.1 percent every week, and outside analysts predicting even more dire consequences.

About 58 percent of Americans disapproved of the job Trump was doing as president by the end of the shutdown, according to a poll by ABC News and The Washington Post. Only 37 percent approved of the president, which the poll explained was a net approval rating of -21 points.

"What I have heard from our conference is a greater number of voices that are saying, 'Hey, this does not work so well. This is not a tool that we should be using,'" GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told The Post, discussing Trump's shutdown.

NO MORE WORDS! Break ground today.

— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 26, 2019

But from the far right of the Republican party, Trump is also receiving anger from conservatives who see his decision to reopen the government without border wall funding as a failure. Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, who previously wrote a book entitled In Trump We Trust, called the president "the biggest wimp ever" on Twitter after he said the government would be reopened. She also told HBO's Real Time host Bill Maher that she was a "very stupid girl" for supporting the president.

Michael Malice, another right-wing commentator, also attacked the president for giving in and reopening the government. "Apparently a wall isn't as good as a cave," he wrote on Twitter.

Apparently a wall isn't as good as a cave

— Michael Malice (@michaelmalice) January 25, 2019

In accepting the bipartisan deal to reopen the government on Friday, which did not include any funding for a border wall and was essentially the same bill he refused to sign before Christmas, Trump insisted that he would continue to push for the wall in negotiations with lawmakers.

The budget is only a temporary measure, allowing the government to remain fully open for just three weeks as discussions continue in Washington. But with many noting the negative economic repercussions of Trump's shutdown and the majority of Americans blaming the president, it appears unlikely that Republicans in Washington will find the political will to back another damaging government closure.