Yes, the finger pointing on the current government shutdown falls elliptically in the oval office…but it can also be blamed on lame duck Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Initially the Senate passed a bipartisan continuing resolution on a voice vote with the expectation that the House would follow suit and the president would sign it.
But then the president got a bee in his bonnet from some of his staff and called the House leadership to the White House and demanded they put $5.7 billion in the resolution for a wall or a fence or border security or whatever the president called it in his latest tweet.
And then the House dutifully passed their new bill and the Senate failed to pass it on a party line vote…since the GOP doesn’t have the 60 votes necessary to pass the legislation.
So where does Speaker Ryan come in? Being a lame duck should have given him some play in telling the president no…we had a deal…you need to sign the bill as the Senate passed it as soon as we pass it in the House. But no, he went back to Capitol Hill with his tail between his legs and did the president’s bidding. Most everybody in Washington knows the wall is a waste of money…but someone voluntarily leaving Congress with a solid self proclaimed history as a policy wonk and budget watchman…and supposedly a heap of cachet…can’t tell the president no???
So yes the president owns this…#TrumpShutdown…but Paul Ryan was the midwife that let it happen!