Small entertainment center owners say they’re tired of Republicans telling them they have to accept the shutdown as the end of the world.
“I don’t think they understand the consequences of their actions,” said Todd T. Johnson, president of the Midtown Entertainment Group.
“It’s been almost eight years.
It’s time to move on.
This is over.
We don’t have a choice.
We can’t take it anymore.
It is the end.”
The Republican Party’s failure to act on President Donald Trump’s threat to defund the Department of Education, which would have caused millions of students to lose their federal funding, has led to a growing rift between the party’s rank-and-file and the party leadership.
The shutdown has left Republicans struggling to find their place in the GOP.
Some of those who have been left out of the fold say they don’t believe the party can be reformed unless it makes the hard choices needed to win back the support of voters.
Some GOP senators, including Sens.
Marco Rubio of Florida and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, have publicly expressed support for the shutdown, saying they can’t continue to stand idly by while the nation is “in chaos.”
“It’s a time of crisis,” said Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“We can’t go back to a status quo of dysfunction.”GOP leaders have also blamed the shutdown on a lack of a viable alternative to President Trump’s proposed budget, which was passed in March with a $1.1 trillion tax cut and other changes.
But Johnson and others say that’s just a smokescreen to distract from the fact that Republicans haven’t changed much since Trump took office.
They say Trump and his supporters are still behind the scenes pushing hard for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
And they say they can only afford to lose one or both of those programs, and not both, before they are forced to cut spending, which will have profound economic consequences for the nation.
“We’re going to have to take some pretty tough decisions about how we’re going deal with the debt,” Johnson said.
“The next budget is a matter of life and death.
And you can’t do it all at once.
We’re going in with a budget that is not going to be able to do everything, and we’re not going in in a vacuum.”
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he is “deeply disappointed” that the GOP has chosen to “ignore the overwhelming evidence of the devastating impact that the shutdown has had on the American economy and American families.”
“Despite the dire warnings, Republicans have chosen to ignore the overwhelming economic evidence of their disastrous approach to our nation’s fiscal crisis,” McConnell said.
The latest polls show the public is evenly split on whether the GOP should be willing to negotiate.
A poll released Friday by ABC News and the Kaiser Family Foundation found 51 percent of Americans want the party to negotiate and 45 percent want the shutdown to go forward.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday showed Republicans still in the majority, 49 percent to 41 percent, and a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday showed Republicans in the minority, 46 percent to 36 percent.
The CNN poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The American Public Policy Polling Survey, conducted last month by the Washington-based Public Policy Institute of California, found Republicans still have the support to pass the $1 trillion cut to Social, Medicare, and Medicaid and still control the Senate.
The poll found 55 percent of Republicans want to keep the cuts and 47 percent want to drop them.
That includes 53 percent of independents and 45 the Republican-leaning Independent voters.
A majority of independents (56 percent) and Democrats (50 percent) want to cut Social Security.
A plurality of Republicans (47 percent) oppose cutting Social Security but a majority of Democrats (60 percent) also oppose it.
The Kaiser poll found that 53 percent support ending the government shutdown while 43 percent oppose.
It also found that 49 percent support cutting Medicare and 46 percent support maintaining it.
A plurality of independents, including 51 percent, support a permanent extension of the federal debt limit, while 45 percent support an immediate partial shutdown and 38 percent oppose it and an immediate debt ceiling increase.
The Public Policy poll also found 60 percent support a temporary increase in the debt limit and 38% oppose a permanent increase.
A majority of Republicans oppose a temporary debt limit increase.