This weekend marks the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and on Saturday the federal government went into shutdown mode. Apparently, part of the whole shutdown meant closing down the White House comment line. Now, when callers phone the line they are greeted by a new message — blaming the Democrats for the shutdown. But of course, the tweets about the new White House voicemail are even funnier than the ridiculous greeting itself.
If you decide to call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111 you will be greeted by a woman’s voice reading the following message:
Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other national security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down. In the meantime, you can leave a comment for the president at www.whitehouse.gov/contact. We look forward to taking your calls as soon as the government reopens.
It is kind of ridiculous to call the White House as a citizen and be greeted by a message that is the equivalent of two middle schoolers on the playground pointing fingers at each other after a fight during recess.
And the childish nature of the whole thing did not go unnoticed.
Twitter had a field day pointing out just how far down the rabbit hole the White House has gone:
It's not a good look while it appears that politicians can't get it together and compromise like adults.
At this moment, the Republicans and Democrats find themselves at a standstill on a budget debate. After negotiations on a spending bill to fund the federal government got hung up on issues of immigration, as well as the use of health insurance for children as a bargaining chip, the two parties were unable to reach an agreement and the government shut down on Friday, Jan. 19 at midnight. During a government shutdown, non-essential federal agencies are closed, meaning people who work in areas like parks and monuments or maintaining government websites or processing visas are furloughed and sent home without being paid.
The new voicemail greeting mentions that the Democrats are holding funding “hostage [due] to an unrelated immigration debate.” The reason for that is because Democrats want assurances for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era immigration policy that protected undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children from being deported. Democrats are standing strong that they will oppose any funding measure that fails to meet that requirement. Meanwhile, Republicans say there will be no DACA talks until the Democrats release enough votes to end the shutdown… hence the standstill.
The voicemail isn't the only statement in which Trump laid the blame for the shutdown on Democrats.
A fundraiser on Saturday at Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort also reportedly laid the blame on Democrats. Trump could not make it because he was stuck in the White House due to the shutdown, but according to CNN guests were shown a video in which Trump reportedly stated, “There shouldn’t be a shutdown, but there is. It’s caused by the Democrats. But we’re going to end up winning another victory.”
Trump blaming others for failures or throwing these sorts of tantrums are kind of unsurprising, though. Many of us start our mornings with some light insta-stalking and then a quick jump right to Trump’s Twitter to find out what sort of ridiculous thing he’s said now.
Obviously both sides are standing strong on their requirements and so it makes sense that each side would blame the other. Unless both sides can come to the table and try and negotiate this shutdown could last a while — and judging by the blame-game voicemail it doesn't seem like compromising to see the end of the shutdown is going to happen anytime soon.