Amid the chaos in Washington between President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., over the partial government shutdown, thousands of federal employees will be furloughed and questions remain if federal employees deemed essential, particularly members of the military, will be paid for their work.
It's hard to say if the Democrats will blink first and vote for a continuing resolution on the promise of a subsequent debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. A Senate vote is scheduled for Monday at noon, but Democrats can block any attempt to pass the bill with a minority of 41 senators.
Things in Washington are confusing right now. And there's a debate on how this shutdown reflects on Trump and his administration, given what he's said in the past about the 2013 government shutdown. His son, Eric Trump, said that the shutdown is good for the administration politically, meanwhile, Trump's OMB Director Mick Mulvaney rebuffed that notion.
However, there is a way for the Trump administration to spin this shutdown. Since Republicans and conservatives are supportive of shrinking the size of government, the White House can issue guidance to every federal agency to force them to evaluate if the employees they deemed nonessential are worth still keeping after the government opens. If the government has to rely on essential employees to make it function, why would they continue to fund departments and staff that are deemed nonessential?
Of course, laying off nonessential federal workers wouldn't help the unemployment rate, but it would be a bold move. Trump could make the case for to his base that the shutdown was his masterful plan to drain the swamp.
Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.