The United States is in the midst of the longest government shutdown in history. Despite this grim reality, more than two dozen Democrats in Congress cleared their calendars last weekend in order to party with lobbyists in Puerto Rico.
According to Fox News, the lawmakers along with their families and lobbyists took off in a chartered jet for a winter retreat where they also planned to view an exclusive showing of the popular Broadway hit “Hamilton.”
The attendees of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC meeting also scheduled to sit down with officials in Puerto Rico on January 12, 2019 to talk about continuing cleanup endeavores from deadly Hurricane Maria.
A memo for the gathering read, “This year’s winter retreat promises to be our most widely attended yet with over 220 guests, including 39 Members of Congress and CHC BOLD PAC supporters expected to attend and participate!”
The event occurred at an exclusive seaside resort. Rooms at the resort typically cost around $429 a night. According to the Washington Examiner, retreat participants bought the “Hamilton” tickets with their own money, but were treated to an exclusive meet and greet with the show’s famous writer and creator afterwards. On January 11, 2019, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the hit musical, launched a two-week run of the play in Puerto Rico in an effort to raise funds for cultural groups and artists still reeling from Hurricane Maria. The Associated Press reported that tickets for opening night cost between $10 and $5,00
Approximately 109 corporate executives and lobbyists were mentioned in a memo welcoming the guests. Some of the guests included were from prestigious Washington firms, Facebook, R.J. Reynolds, Amazon, Comcast, Microsoft, Verizon, Intel, PhRMA, and unions such as the National Education Association. A spokesman representing BOLD PAC declined to inform the Washington Examiner which members of Congress would be at the event.
However, according to a Fox News producer, controversial Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat – New Jersey, was spotted on the beach. A picture of him enjoying the beach, wearing a pair of shorts sans shirt surfaced over the weekend. Meanwhile, President Trump and others stayed behind to negotiate the government shutdown.
In a statement, BOLD PAC Chair Representative Tony Cardenas, Democrat – California, remarked, “As our Bold PAC members make their way to Puerto Rico for this important weekend — the largest contingency of House Democrats to visit Puerto Rico where they’ll be hearing from Commonwealth and local elected officials about the ongoing recovery efforts — we will be closely monitoring the situation in Washington.”
Since the partial government shutdown, the optics for Democrats couldn’t be more different than those for President Donald J. Trump. According to Lauren DeBellis Appell of Fox News, newly minted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi packed up and enjoyed an enviable Hawaiian vacation during the Christmas holidays amid the shutdown. The rooms at the resort Pelosi stayed at cost between $489 and $3,499 a night.
The Speaker’s sojourn took place while the President canceled his Christmas plans at Mar-a-Lago. Except for his trip to Iraq to visit American troops, Trump remained at the White House willing to work with Democrats to reopen the government.
Of course, with fake news outlets pitting the blame for the shutdown squarely on Trump’s shoulders, Democrats may not be worried about carefree pictures of them sauntering on a beach leaking to the press. After all, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed a whopping 53 percent of Americans blame Republicans and Trump for the shutdown. Only 29 percent of those polled blame Democrats while 13 percent feel both parties are equally responsible.
While no one knows how this political game of cat and mouse will end, one thing is for certain. Republicans and Trump should make sure Americans know about the unrivaled hypocrisy liberals are currently displaying to the fullest.
While they now feel building a border wall is “immoral,” many Democrats unashamedly supported tighter border security in the past. For instance, in 2008, Speaker Pelosi said, “Because we do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat – New York, is on video stating, “One of the most effective things we do on the border is turn people back … they get up to the border and we find them and say, ‘go home!’”